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Freshman ‘spark plug’ leads Ontario softball past Baldwin Park and into CIF

Apr 08, 2023

BALDWIN PARK — Ontario freshman outfielder Laylonie Martinez had to be picked up and carried off the field after momentarily collapsing following her team's 10-3 victory over Baldwin Park in the CIF Southern Section Division 7 softball semifinals Saturday.

However, what looked like a scary moment quickly turned into smiles from Martinez, as moments later she joined her teammates to celebrate the school's first ever trip to the CIF-SS championship game.

"I feel good. With all the energy, I just passed out, I was done," Martinez explained later. "But I feel fine. I know that we’ve never done this in our high school's history, so it feels so good to be able to come this far."

Martinez could just as easily have been carried off the field for her performance, too.

Martinez's impact was everywhere. She led off the game with a walk, stole two bases and scored on an error. The center fielder threw out two runners at the plate, and if that wasn't enough, she hit a solo home run and scored twice.

"Laylonie is our freshman and our spark plug," Ontario coach Jason Guzman said. "Her impact is contagious. She's the one who gets us going, and as she gets it going it lights a spark underneath us and leads the way. It sets the tone for what we’re going to do and it's awesome."

Ontario (16-8) is the top seed and will take on No. 2 seed Ganesha (15-0) in the final Friday or Saturday, May 20, at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

Ganesha advanced with a 15-3 semifinal victory over Tahquitz.

"It's going to be a good game. I don't know if they’ve faced anyone like us," Guzman said of Ganesha. "We’re going to give them the best that we got and see what happens."

Ontario had six extra-base hits. Hailey Romero had a triple, single and scored twice.

Sofia Femath had two doubles and scored three runs, and pitcher Angelina Garcia gave up two of her three runs in the seventh inning.

Ontario led 1-0 before extending its lead in the fourth inning.

After a Baldwin Park error allowed Ontario to have runners on second and third with no outs, Natalie Bolanos singled home both runners and AJ Mercado kept it going with a single to bring in Bolanos for a 4-0 lead.

Martinez's two-out home run in the fifth extended the Jaguars’ lead to 5-0.

After the Jaguars scored two more runs in the sixth, Baldwin Park avoided the shutout with Celeste De La Cueva's solo homer to center.

The Braves’ Sophia Worth and Amanda Sera both doubled and scored for the Braves in the seventh inning.

Ontario freshman Laylonie Martinez speaks after her big day in their 10-3 semifinal win over Baldwin Park, hitting a homer, throwing two out at home and scoring twice

— Fred J. Robledo 👨🏻‍💻 (@SGVNSports) May 14, 2023

Ontario coach Jason Guzman on their 10-3 win over Baldwin Park to reach the D7 softball final for the first time in school history

— Fred J. Robledo 👨🏻‍💻 (@SGVNSports) May 14, 2023

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