Girls softball: Strong defense holds off Mustangs 4-2

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Girls softball: Strong defense holds off Mustangs 4-2

Nona Penner

Senior Clarissa Wells slides into home on a wild pitch by Homestead pitcher junior Maddy Casto during the bottom of the second inning. Wells’ run tied the score 2-2. Photo by Margaret Lin.

Senior Clarissa Wells slides into home on a wild pitch by Homestead pitcher junior Maddy Casto during the bottom of the second inning. Wells’ run tied the score 2-2. Photo by Margaret Lin.

On April 26, the Matadors played against the Mustangs, the second-highest ranked team in the De Anza softball league and won 4-2.

Carrying over strong defense from their April 24 game against Palo Alto High School, the Matadors made quick work of the innings with smooth defensive plays. With the score tied 2-2 from the second inning to the fourth, the girls did not allow the Homestead High School Mustangs to tip the score away from the Matadors’ favor. Juniors Nikita Agarwal and Carissa Chan made two additional runs that closed the score at 4-2.

“[We were] scared. Intimidated. But we also had nothing to lose,” senior Julia Peters said.

The Matadors had anticipated facing the Mustangs’ key pitcher, junior Katie Moss. However, Moss was not present that day due to an injury.

The potential outcome was unclear at the beginning of the game; the Mustangs had pulled a two run lead by the end of the top of the second inning. However, the Matadors bounced back during the bottom of the second. Freshman Janaye Sakkas drew a walk, which was followed by a hit to centerfield for a single by senior Clarissa Wells.

A bunt from senior Justine Young had all the bases loaded with only one out. Homestead pitcher junior Maddy Casto walked Peters as well, earning the Matadors one run. A wild pitch by Casto followed that allowed Wells to slide into home, and the inning ended with both teams tied 2-2.

“[We were] relieved a little, now knowing that we could have a chance to win,” Sakkas said.

Sakkas made five defensive plays throughout the game that prevented the Mustangs from scoring runs. Meanwhile, the Matadors edged the score in their favor. During the bottom of the fourth, Peters hit a line drive down left field for a single, followed by another hit by junior Kalani Seaver that went over Homestead shortstop sophomore Hannah Montalban’s head.

A hit to right field allowed Agarwal, pinch runner for Peters, to run to home from second base, sliding onto the plate safely just as Homestead tried to tag her out.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Matadors made an added safety run. Senior Alanna Onishi hit a line drive down the left corner for a double. Two strikeouts followed, but a wild pitch to Young allowed Onishi’s pinch runner Chan to make it to third base.

Homestead third pitcher junior Megan Andrews, allowed a walk to Young. Then, senior Carla Mack hit a ground ball that skidded down centerfield, giving Chan the opportunity to score a run.

The Matadors ended the game in the top of the seventh to secure a 4-2 victory with Sakkas, who has been playing on the varsity team for three weeks, making two defensive plays.

“[Sakkas is] an athlete and plays three sports: Softball, soccer, and field hockey,” head coach Ray Teixeira said. “She’s been performing really well. We wanted to keep her at junior varsity until we needed to move her up.”

The Matadors’ next home game will be against Los Gatos High School on May 1 at 4:00 p.m.