Girls softball: Late turnaround unable to earn victory

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Girls softball: Late turnaround unable to earn victory

Nona Penner

Santa Clara pitcher sophomore Sandy Riachy threw a wild pitch in the fifth inning to senior Julia Peters, which allowed runners to advance to third and second. Photo by Angela Liu.

Santa Clara pitcher sophomore Sandy Riachy threw a wild pitch in the fifth inning to senior Julia Peters, which allowed runners to advance to third and second. Photo by Angela Liu.

Despite consistent pitching and solid hits, girls softball could not overtake the lead the Santa Clara High School Bruins accumulated in the first inning. The Matadors had all bases loaded several times throughout the game, but unfortunately those opportunities were missed, allowing the Bruins to chip away steadily at the score.
The Matadors (9-8, 1-2) played against the Bruins on April 4. Both teams were fairly matched, but the Bruins held an advantage over the Matadors 0-3 after the first inning. A run scored in the fifth and three in the sixth inning gave the Matadors some hope, but it was not enough to turn around the game.

“I know that feeling, where you know it’s just going to be one of those games,” first baseman senior Julia Peters said.

The Bruins scored three runs on weak ground balls by the end of the top of the first. During the bottom, the Matadors’ chance to score well emerged from Senior Clarissa Wells when she hit a bunt and fielders missed the throw at first, allowing her to get a leadoff double.

Senior Carla Mack followed with a double to centerfield, allowing Wells to take third. Then, Peters earned a walk. With all bases loaded and no outs, the Matadors were poised to score. However, the tide suddenly turned against the Matadors.

A solid line drive to the right by freshman Noa Yakir was caught by the Bruins’ outfielders. Junior Kalani Seaver’s line drive down centerfield met the same fate. With two outs, freshman Janaye Sakkas hit a ground ball and Wells ran for home; however, Sakkas was forced out at first, ending the inning.

A similar opportunity arose in the fourth inning. Wells hit a bunt for a single, leading to another all bases loaded situation with two outs. Mack hit a line drive to center field, giving freshman Tamanna Ahluwalia the opportunity to run to home, but Mack was thrown out at first before the run could be made.

While the Matadors played well, the Bruins continued to score a run each inning for three innings, and scored two in the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Peters hit a leadoff single, followed by a line drive by Seaver for another single that also allowed Peters to run to third. Capitalizing on a wild pitch by Santa Clara sophomore pitcher Sandy Riachy, Peters scored a run to make the score 8-1.

The Matadors made the most progress in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Dixie Bronec hit a line drive for a single, followed by a ground ball by Wells for another single. Another wild pitch by Riachy allowed the Matadors to advance to second and third bases. Yet another single by Peters allowed junior Nikita Agarwal, who pinch-ran for Bronec, to score a run. Both Peters and Wells were able to score runs on Seaver’s line drive down center field. The inning ended with the score at 8-4.

“This is what we should have been doing. It’s good we adjusted, but it was a bit too late,” Wells said.

The Matadors did not allow the Bruins to score any more runs in the top of the seventh, ending it quickly with three sequential outs. In the bottom, junior Kylie Page hit for a single that Santa Clara’s outfielders fumbled. Agarwal followed with a single.

A sacrifice bunt by Wells put Page and Agarwal on third and second respectively, but the inning ended with Mack being thrown out at first for a final score of 8-4. The Bruins had too many runs on the Matadors, and the late turnaround was not enough to change the outcome.

The Matadors’ next home game will be against Los Gatos High School on April 11 at 4:00 p.m.