With a chance to repeat as the Guam Department of Education Interscholastic Sports Association softball champions, the Guam High School Panthers would not be denied.
On Saturday, with the sun beaming down on the field at Okkodo High School, the Panthers secured their repeat title over the Tiyan High School Titans with an irrefutable 12-0 victory.
“We’ve all been working really hard to get to where we are and it’s just a great way to end the year off,” said Panthers first baseman Morgen Piehl.
Guam High played small ball, producing their runs on 17 hits. Sierra Connor, Brianni Soto and Riana Tominez all had three hits to lead the charge.
League MVP Brinnlyn Hardt led the Panthers’ shutout with her arm, registering nine strikeouts in the season finale of her sophomore year. Hardt’s pitching was crucial to Guam High’s title defense, as she only gave up one hit, but her Panthers teammates were integral to keeping the Titans scoreless.
For Hardt, the league’s most dominant player, finishing the year was bittersweet.
“It’s a little sad because we have to say goodbye to our seniors,” she said. “I’m really happy to have them as captains, but I think that this was a good way to send them off.”
Hardt’s streak of 14 2/3 no-hit innings ended in the fourth when first-team All-Island shortstop Shanesse Aldan bunted her way on base.
After a scoreless first inning, the Panthers kicked things off in their next at-bat, as Conner, Rya Castro and Madalyn Mansel brought in Guam High’s first three runs. From there, the Panthers clicked.
In the fourth inning, the Panthers went through their entire batting lineup, racking up another five runs to make the score 8-0.
In the Titans’ first rotation through the lineup, the Panthers denied them from getting a single runner on base. It wasn’t until Aldan’s bunt, where she beat out the throw to first, that the Titans got their first hit and got their first runner on base.
The Panthers put things away in the sixth inning, bringing in three runs to make it 12-0, and clocking out the Titans’ first three batters to win the game and hoist the trophy, once again.
“It feels great. It feels like a lot of my work in the offseason has paid off and I’m really happy about that,” Hardt said.
After winning the girls soccer championship the day before, the Panthers have collected two titles in two days.
In the third-place game, the John F. Kennedy High School Islanders defeated the Academy of Our Lady of Guam Cougars, 27-22.