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Winton throws no-hitter

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Not only did Fallbrook High School’s softball team break a six-game losing streak Wednesday, May 3, at Vista High School, but Fallbrook sophomore Hana Winton threw a no-hitter.

Winton allowed two walks and hit a batter in the Warriors’ 15-3 victory over the Panthers. All three runs were unearned, as Fallbrook fielders made four errors. The game was called by the 10-run mercy rule after six innings, and Winton struck out 15 of the 18 batters she retired while throwing out two of the other runners after fielding balls.

“I just think it was a nice thing for the team,” Winton said.

“She had a good game,” Fallbrook coach Lisa Stehle said.

The no-hitter was the first for Winton in high school play.

“I honestly didn’t really think about it at all until the end,” Winton said.

Winton, who is now 15, began playing club softball when she was 11. Her club team is the Power Surge, which is based in San Diego.

Relief pitcher Claire Hawthorne, who is a senior, was ill May 3. Winton knew she would be throwing the entire game, which may have contributed to the no-hitter.

“I think the main difference was just knowing that nobody could come in after me,” Winton said. “I tried to get outs early.”

Fallbrook scored once in the first, three times in the second, and once in the top of the third. The Panthers scored a run in the bottom of the third. Fallbrook scored single runs in the fourth and fifth.

A lead of at least 10 runs after five innings – or after 4 1/2 innings if the home team has that lead – triggers the mercy rule. Fallbrook scored eight times in the top of the sixth. Vista was allowed to complete the Panthers’ batting half of the inning and scored twice.

“It was a good game for the whole team, and they all did really well,” Winton said.

Six of Fallbrook’s runs were driven in by junior Valerie Hernandez, who had two singles and a double while scoring once. The statistics for sophomore Gia Vitale included two singles, a sacrifice bunt, three runs scored, three runs batted in and one stolen base. Four of the runs were scored by freshman Olivia Castillo, who had two hits including a triple and two walks with one stolen base.

“Overall the team was hitting,” Stehle said. “Our team was batting well, and they were defensively behind her (Winton) when she needed them.”

At the plate Winton had a hit and a walk in five plate appearances and scored a run.

“I couldn’t run very much because I pulled my hamstring, so I was just trying to cruise over to the base instead of full-on sprinting to prevent any injuries,” she said.

Winton pulled her left hamstring earlier in the season.

“My hamstring isn’t really affecting my pitching,” she said.

With eight other batters in the lineup, Winton doesn’t need to beat out marginal ground balls.

“The girls are really good at the bat, so I would have a lot of run support,” she said.

The win improved Fallbrook’s season record to 4-10, including 2-5 in Valley League play.

The 15 strikeouts gave Winton 127 for the season and 306 for her high school career.

“I’m excited for what the rest of my season at Fallbrook High School holds,” Winton said.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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