Rose Cano was nearly unhittable on Tuesday in the wild card round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. The St. Anthony pitcher struck out 18 batters and only gave up one hit in a 5-1 win over visiting Woodbridge at Pan American Park.
“When I was warming up my velocity felt really good,” Cano said. “My spins weren’t that great because I pitched this last weekend, but after the first inning when I (stuck out the side) I felt pretty good.”
Cano struck out the side in the first, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings while facing only three over the minimum number of batters. She struck out the last nine batters she faced.
“She’s the real deal,” St. Anthony coach Joseph Younger said. “That’s what we expect from her most of the time. She mixes it up and she mixes well. Her rise ball is tough to hit and she can throw it past a lot of girls.”
“When they hit it foul I get mad and try to blow it past them again,” Cano said. “That’s pretty much how I roll.”
St. Anthony used three walks and a hit by pitch to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Woodbridge tied the game with its only hit in the top of the fourth inning when Senna Yamamoto hit a solo home run to left field.
The Saints retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jayla Cadena blasted a 3-run home run to left field. Zaniah Puni had already scored on a wild pitch after leading off the frame with a single. Destiny Avila and Aimee Metz both scored on the home run after and single and a walk, respectively.
St. Anthony is just getting healthy for the first time this season, and has its full compliment of players as the postseason begins. Coach Younger said that hasn’t changed the way he wants his team to approach these games.
“We told them to keep doing what we’re doing and good things will happen,” Younger said. “The girls know this is what we’re capable of. We played some very good games this season, and when we were shorthanded we lost some games we shouldn’t have lost. But I like our chances now.”
St. Anthony (8-8) has to visit top-seeded Whittier Christian on Thursday.
“We’re feeling really good,” Cano said. “Obviously we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves and think we’re the best. But we feel like we have the talent.”