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Capo Valley’s Kate Verhoef hits for the cycle in win over cross-town rival Mission Viejo

Verhoef also was part of three consecutive home runs Cougars hit in the fifth inning

Capo Valley outfielder Kate Verhoef hits a home run during a non-league high school softball game against Mission Viejo, Monday, April 10, 2023 at Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, Calif. Verhoef hits for the cycle as Capo Valley defeats Mission Viejo 6-2. (Ryan Kuhn,

MISSION VIEJO — Capo Valley senior outfielder Kate Verhoef couldn’t stop smiling as she jogged off the softball diamond.

After all, she did something even her coach hasn’t seen in her time coaching.

In the seventh inning of a non-league game against Mission Viejo, Verhoef’s single rolled into right field. 

She completed her cycle, hitting a single, double, triple and home run, in the Cougars’ 6-2 win on Monday afternoon.

“It feels great,” she said, also finishing with 3 RBIs. “I’ve only done that one other time in rec ball but that was a long time ago.”

It was actually when she played for a 10u team and said this one felt a little better.

“She is one of the most well-rounded players I’ve ever coached,” Cougars first year coach Melissa Roth said. “She can bunt slap and hit and her hitting was on today.”

Verhoef , who had already verbally committed to continue her softball career at Cal State Fullerton, started the afternoon lacing a triple to right field in the second inning. Three batters later she was singled home by Kayla Meyer. 

Capo Valley (14-3, 2-0) extended the lead one inning later when designated player Madi McDonnell hit a 2-RBI single to left field. 

Mission Viejo (9-10-1, 2-0)has been struggling on offense averaging just 1.4 runs per game in their last five games, but finally broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. 

However, the momentum didn’t last long. 

Verheof found a little help from her friends when Siena Stickney, McDonnell hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the fifth inning. 

Before Verhoef stepped into the box to follow her teammates’ feat, they pulled her aside and gave a little encouragement. 

“They told me I was next,” Verhoef said with a smile. “I didn’t want to follow that but it worked out.” 

Verhoef launched a towering home run over the right center field wall as the Cougars’ celebration continued.  Mission Viejo was held to just one hit over the last four innings. 

“This was just another win for us,” Roth said. “I want them to stay aggressive and play good defense. Let’s stay on pace and continue to play out game.” 

Both teams will return to league play on Tuesday when Capo Valley hosts El Toro in the Sea View League and Mission Viejo hosts Tesoro in the South Coast League. 

Diablos’ coach Clint Watson was ejected in the top of the fourth inning for arguing with the home plate umpire and will be ineligible for Tuesday’s game because of CIF-Southern Section rules.

Ryan was born and raised in Dana Point went to Dana Hills High School. He graduated from Sacramento State University with a BA in Journalism. Throughout his career as a sports journalist, he has covered high schools, colleges, and professional teams. After working for multiple newspapers in as many states, he came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was to make sure the high schools in his hometown area got the sports coverage they deserved. Follow him on Twitter @rskuhn

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