Girls varsity softball protect their pristine home record

Jacqueline Barr

The Lady Matadors beats Gunn 6-2




 

The Lady Matadors, 5-1 in league and 13-2-0 overall, have yet to lose a home game this season. They continued to protect home plate on April 8 against one of their biggest rivals: Gunn High School (5-1).

After losing to the Titans earlier in the season, the Matadors rallied to take back their win and establish their position in league play. Now, the two teams have only lost to each other—leaving them tied for first place.Junior Alanna Onishi pitches the ball in the top  of the seventh. Onishi consistently pitched strikes despite the high stakes of the game. Photo by Jackie Barr.

The girls have been prepping to hold their own against one of the best pitchers in the league, Titan sophomore Claire Klausner who has only allowed 14 earned runs in the 157 innings she has pitched.

“In practice, we have been working on staying focused for the whole game and getting used to the faster pitches [anticipated to come from Klausner],” senior Kristen Tatsuno said.

This practice was clearly reflected in their batting during the game. Though several balls by left-handed batters ended up to the left of the foul line, indicating some late swings, the team was able to hit the ball in a manner that got the the runners on base and eventually home.

“We didn’t hit the ball real hard but we got them through and we stayed consistent,” coach Raymond Teixiera said.

Junior Justine Young created an early lead scoring a run for the team in both the first and second innings, bringing the score to 2-0.

The third and fourth innings allowed the Matadors to pull ahead with two additional runs.

A good eye by Tatsuno in the bottom of the fourth allowed her a walk to first base. The next two batters, junior Julia Peters and senior Sammy Barry, both bunted the ball which allowed Tatsuno to run home.

Junior Carla Mack proceeded to hit the ball right down the middle past the pitcher, providing an opportunity for Barry to run home for the second run of the inning, the score now 6-0.

In both instances, the the Matadors capitalized on mistakes committed by the Titan catcher, who had a hand injury that caused her to miss the ball on several plays.

The girls‘ lead helped them glide to the top of the seventh but they then grew antsy. Junior pitcher Alanna Onishi held the team together, despite the high pressure situation.

“The game was really stressful because our coach pulled [the team] aside and told us that we needed [to win] this game,” Onishi said.

A bobbled ball by senior Lucia Lin with runners on first and second allowed two runs by Gunn. Still, the girls pulled through and were able to end the game 6-2 with an out from a runner heading towards first.

Their next game with be at home against the Lynbrook Vikings on April 13.

Additional reporting by Dickson Tsai.