Grossmont takes preseason softball tournament

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Softball is off and swinging and Grossmont Conference teams are holding their own in preseason. 

Grossmont High School has taken an early lead in the Grossmont Hills League standings with a 6-3-0 record. They won gold in the Cougar Classic, the largest preseason softball tournament in San Diego, beating Rancho Bernardo High School for the championship. The game went 10 innings and lasted five hours.

Softball is off and swinging and Grossmont Conference teams are holding their own in preseason. 

Grossmont High School has taken an early lead in the Grossmont Hills League standings with a 6-3-0 record. They won gold in the Cougar Classic, the largest preseason softball tournament in San Diego, beating Rancho Bernardo High School for the championship. The game went 10 innings and lasted five hours.

Grossmont also beat league powerhouse West Hills High School earlier in quarterfinals, 5-2.

Grossmont head coach Jerry Lerud said he hopes the tournament was indicative of a good season for the Foothillers.

“West Hills is always the strongest,” he said. “We’re doing much better than last year. We’ve beaten some big-name schools already, so we’re thinking we’re going to be that much stronger this year than last year.”

Comprised mostly of juniors, the Foothillers’ roster has some blossoming talent, said Lerud.

“Our junior class is really strong,” he said. “These kids mature at different times and these girls are really coming on now in their junior year and I think that’s going to make all the difference.”

Coming in right behind Grossmont in the standings is league favorite West Hills, tied with Santana High School. Each team sports a 5-3-0 record.

Steele Canyon High School has the most runs in the Hills league with 59 in just nine games, a number dwarfed by Helix High School’s 102 runs in the Grossmont Valley League. Helix is 8-1-0 for the season, followed in the Valley standings by Monte Vista High School, 4-2-0, and El Capitan High School, 1-6-0.

Grossmont lost a match against Otay Ranch High School on Saturday, March 18 and Lerud said the 8-0 defeat was their toughest this season. It was their eighth game in seven days and the Lady Foothillers were tuckered out, said Lerud.

“Not to make excuses,” he said. “We’ll turn the page. Tomorrow’s scorebook will be a clean slate.” 

Lerud said, although he plans to keep the Foothillers on top of the standings, his hopes for the team stretch beyond this baseball season.

“The goal is that the seniors go to college and become productive members of society,” he said. “It’s great when you see them grow up and they’re becoming teachers and principals of schools. That’s what’s great for me to see.”

Grossmont is set to compete in the Jaguar Classic this week. They begin league competition in April.

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