Fastballing past the Rams

Emily Vu

Varsity girl’s softball defeats Willow Glen 4-3

On March 24, the girls varsity softball team faced off against the Willow Glen High School Rams in their second game of the season, defeating them in a close 4-3 game.

Sophomore Alanna Onishi ended the top of the first with a strikeout—the first of many that would come later in the game.  First up to bat was sophomore Justine Young, who connected with a bunt and ran safely to first. Then, sophomore Julia Peter hit a line drive allowing Young to score and take the lead for the Matadors 1-0.

In the second inning, Onishi delivered three strikeouts, preventing any of the Rams from getting scoring opportunities. In the bottom of the second inning, senior Yujia Ding scored off of sophomore Clarissa Well’s triple, making the score 2-0. 

In the third inning, Onishi struck out the first batter, but allowed a walk to first base on the second batter.    

"I think I need to be able to adjust in the box and also be able to hit my pitching spots correctly," Onishi said. "On the third strike, I need to get it far enough outside so that the batter won’t be able to put her bat on it."

 

Onishi then struck out another batter, and Wells cleaned up the top of the third with a tag at second base.  In the bottom of the third, junior Kristen Tatsuno was able to reach third base, but unfortunately the Matadors were struck out, where the score still remained 2-0.

The Matadors faced a few close calls in the fourth inning with two Willow Glen batters on second and third base.  However, Onishi and the Matador defense were able to keep the Rams at bay and struck the rest of them out.  In the bottom of the fourth,  sophomore Carla Mack scored a run off of a bunt by Wells, making the score 3-0. Then, the Matadors let a great opportunity to seal the game slip in the end of the fourth when Tatsuno struck out with all the bases loaded. 

The Rams could not rally back against Onishi’s relentless pitches, and the fifth inning was dominated completely by her pitches, striking out all three Rams.  The Matadors then took the offensive as Peters hit a single, stole to third off of Onishi’s single, and then slid to home to increase the Matador lead to 4-0.

The Matadors changed things up in the sixth inning with a different lineup; Tatsuno replaces Onishi as the pitcher.  Although Tatsuno hasn’t played pitcher in one and a half years, she was able to deliver an excellent performance on the mound. 

"Since we play seven games this week, I wanted to give Alanna some rest, and so we brought Kristen in," coach Ray Teixeira said.

Senior Sumayyah Naguib caught a bullet at first to get the first out for the Rams.  Mack caught a fly ball to get the second out, and Tatsuno finished the top of the sixth inning with a strike out.  

Now up to bat, Tatsuno once again delivered when it was her turn up to bat, as she making perfect bunt that allowed her to slide to first base and then steal second and third. However, junior Samantha Barry was unable to get a run and the game headed into its last inning

Despite the tough pressure Tatsuno faced when she realized that the Ram player up to bat had three balls and two strikes, Tatsuno was able to strike her out for the first out of the seventh inning. The defense of the team played with quick hands, as Onishi played the bounce and tossed it to Naguib who managed to get the second out of the inning. 


However, momentum slowly decreased in the hot sun after Tatsuno pegged a Ram player in the hip, giving her a free walk to first base. The Rams soon managed to get all bases loaded. The Rams scored their first point of the night when one of the girls slid to home base. Though, the next play, the defense executed sloppily and allowed two more runs for the Rams, as they began to catch up 3-4.

"As a team, we need to be able to work together better in tough and pressured situations and be able to execute the plays that need to be executed," Onishi said. 

Barry caught a fly ball and ended the game with a Matador victory 4-3

"We played well enough to win, but definitely not up to our capabilities. We tend to get tired at the end, and we let the warm weather get to us," Teixeira said.

The varsity girl’s softball team play again at home against Branham High School on March 25.