If hitting really is contagious, Centennial’s Katie Lee started quite an epidemic Tuesday.
The Bulldogs senior connected on the first of three consecutive home runs in the first inning to send Centennial on its way to an 11-5 victory over Durango in a winners’ bracket quarterfinal of the Spring Jamboree at Majestic Park.
“Hitting is really contagious,” Lee said. “We just hit really good.”
Lee ripped a 2-1 pitch over the left-center field fence, scoring Paige Reese to give Centennial a 2-0 lead.
“She’s been a little hot and cold,” Centennial coach Mike Livreri said of Lee. “Sometimes she just tries to do a little too much. When she just relaxes, she’s got enough pop, that a home run can happen.”
Johnna Brown followed with a blast down the left-field line that cleared the fence by at least 30 feet.
Lindsay Konopelko then fouled off seven pitches before sending a 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence and increasing the Bulldogs’ lead to 4-0.
“I kind of had a feeling she was going to hit a home run, too,” Lee said.
Since being shut out by Shadow Ridge on March 27, Centennial (14-4) has scored 70 runs in eight games, an average of nearly nine per game.
“I wish we could bottle that,” Livreri said of the first inning. “That just gives you such a boost.”
Brown finished 3-for-4 with the homer, a double and four RBIs. Lee was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, and Reese went 3-for-3.
The top four spots in Centennial’s order went 10-for-13 with eight RBIs and scored nine runs.
Centennial will face Palo Verde in a semifinal at 11 a.m. today. The winner will meet either Bonanza or Winslow (Ariz.) for the title at 1 p.m.
Katie Moore was 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI for the Trailblazers (15-6).
Centennial 17, Rancho 2 — Brown and Konopelko hit back-to-back homers in a 10-run second inning as the Bulldogs cruised past Rancho.
Shannon Brown was 4-for-4 with two runs and an RBI for Centennial. Kelli Hans went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and three RBIs.
Also for Centennial: Johnna Brown went 3-for-3 with the homer, two runs and two RBIs; Juelaine Noa was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs and two RBIs; and Reese was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
Centennial’s Sierra Golia tossed a one-hitter and struck out five.
Palo Verde 7, San Diego 0 — Palo Verde’s Missy McCormick carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Panthers used a four-run fifth to put away San Diego.
McCormick settled for a one-hitter and struck out 15. Lauren Stover doubled for the Panthers.
Palo Verde 8, Liberty 1 — McCormick’s grand slam capped a six-run sixth inning to lift the Panthers into the semifinals.
Courtesy runner Kristen Jones raced home on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to give Palo Verde a 1-0 lead. After an RBI single by Rachel Mez, McCormick smashed a 2-1 pitch over the left-center field fence for a grand slam.
Desi King added a two-run double in the seventh for Palo Verde.
Nikki Blindeagle went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Patriots.
Bonanza 16, Coronado 3 — Emily Osborn led off the game with a home run, and Bonanza never looked back, pounding 20 hits en route to a win over the Cougars.
Osborn went 2-for-3 with a triple, a homer and three RBIs.
Brittany Spencer was 3-for-4 with a homer for the Bengals, and teammate Alex Teed went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs.
Devyn Choltko had a two-run double for Coronado.
Bonanza 14, Arbor View 3 — Osborn went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBIs as the Bengals routed Arbor View to reach the semifinals.
Michelle Miller was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs for the Bengals, who broke open a 3-2 game with five runs in the third inning.
Kristina Billante went 2-for-3 with two RBIs for Arbor View.
Winslow (Ariz.) 2, Foothill 1 — Kyli Parsons’ double with two outs in the sixth inning brought home Jennifer Yazzie with the tiebreaking run as Winslow nipped Foothill to advance to the semifinals.
Shelbie Medrano tossed a four-hitter for the Falcons. Kylee Taylor was 2-for-3 and drove in Foothill’s run.
Foothill 15, Cheyenne 5 — Amy Austin went 3-for-3 with a double to lead a 20-hit attack as the Falcons beat Cheyenne in a winners’ bracket first-round game.
Nine Falcons had an extra-base hit, including home runs by Medrano and Rhiana Balaun.
Chelsea Miller was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs for the Falcons.
Liberty 8, San Fernando (Calif.) 5 — Kelly Phillips went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs to help the Patriots beat San Fernando in a winners’ bracket first-round game.
Christina Foti added a triple for the Patriots, who used a three-run sixth inning to build an 8-3 lead.
Arbor View 14, Bishop Gorman 3 — The Aggies scored six runs in the first inning.
Chelsea Venable went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs for Arbor View, which pounded 16 hits in four innings.
Danielle Nolan and Marlene Panduro each went 2-for-3 for the Aggies.
Gorman’s Aaryn Ellenberg was 3-for-3 with two runs.
Rancho 12, San Diego 2 — Winning pitcher Amber Marlett went 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs, and the Rams took advantage of eight errors by the Cavers to advance in the losers’ bracket.
Rancho built an 11-0 lead by scoring seven runs in the fourth inning.
Coronado 4, Durango 3 — Lexy Moss’ two-run single in the top of the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the Cougars past Durango in the losers’ bracket.
Juarez hit a solo home run for the Trailblazers. Moore and Marley Sandoval each went 2-for-3 for Durango.
San Fernando (Calif.) 12, Cheyenne 7 — San Fernando took a 7-1 lead after two innings and held off Cheyenne in the losers’ bracket.
Lexi Galindo was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for the Desert Shields.
Douglas 7, Bishop Gorman 2 — Claudia Franco’s two-run double in the top of the first inning got the Gaels off to a good start, but Gorman didn’t score again and lost in a losers’ bracket game.
Brenna White was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Douglas.