Canyon softball evens series with West Ranch 

Canyon High School Girls cheer on their teammate Karina Montero (10) for hitting a home run during the last inning during Monday’s game at Canyon High School versus West Ranch. Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Canyon junior pitcher Jessica Carr was asked to turn up the heat in Tuesday’s Foothill League road battle with West Ranch. 

After a solid performance in round one with the Wildcats, Carr pitched a gem and rattled the West Ranch offense in Canyon’s 7-3 win. 

Carr allowed just five hits in a complete-game win powered by her 12 strikeouts. The junior has led the charge for Canyon since her freshman year and has shown coach Todd Wensley impressive growth now in her third season. 

“I think at this point right now she’s at her best,” Wensley said in a phone interview. “I’m just super proud of the way that she’s stepped up and performed on the rubber.” 

The Canyon offense did its part and backed up Carr with eight hits and three doubles. Two of the doubles belonged to junior Isabella Heasley, who went hitless in her first game against West Ranch. 

Heasley led all batters with a game-high three hits and as many RBIs. 

The bulk of the runs came in the fifth inning, where Canyon finally broke through and brought in five runs to go up 5-1. The rally was sparked by sophomore Jaylynn Sussi with a line drive to center field. Senior Mia Reese followed up the hit with a double before the runs started piling up. 

Heasley then brought in a pair of runs, as well as one of the insurance runs in the seventh off her pair of RBI doubles. 

“(Heasley’s) been working hard,” Wensley said. “She’s always one that wants to stay after practice and work hard, asking us coaches, ‘What do I need to change? What can I do better?’ She puts a lot of work in and wants to get better. It’s starting to show.” 

Carr had just given up one run going into the seventh but ran into some life still in the West Ranch offense. The Wildcats tallied up a pair of runs before Reese made her last of three solid catches in the outfield. 

“We had some good defensive plays and played well but when you have 12 strikeouts, you don’t have to work too hard,” Wensley said. 

West Ranch stole round one at Canyon, 6-3, but the Cowboys now get a much-needed win to move up in the Foothill League standings. Carr and the bats were key but the most important thing for Wensley was simply for the girls to stay in the moment. 

“We told the girls going into the game that we needed to stay present in the moment,” Wensley said. “Just continue to work like we’ve been doing all season, and that’s exactly what we did.” 

Canyon still has some big wins to snag in order to secure a playoff seed. However, the pieces may finally be lining up together to push the program back into the postseason. 

The Cowboys return to Foothill League play on Tuesday back at home against Golden Valley at 3:15 p.m. 

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