Softball: Second inning home run not enough to win senior night

Karen Feng

After many seniors graduated and players transferred following the 2011-2012 season, the softball team rebuilt this year to finish its season 3-9. Having been defeated 1-5 in a previous away game against Los Gatos High School on April 2, the Matadors kept their last game of the season on May 9 against LGHS in tight contention through each inning but lost 1-4.

MVHS made a valiant effort, with senior Kalani Seaver hitting a home run in the second inning and sophomore Tamanna Ahluwalia pitching successful curveballs to strike out three batters. However, the team was unable to recover from an early deficit as the Wildcats pulled forward with consistent play, led by pitcher senior Kim Showalter, who struck out six batters.

“I think it was okay, it was more of a rebuilding season,” senior Kylie Page said. “It wasn’t like we were the best team in the league, but we all got along really well and the dynamic of the team was great this year. Even if we didn’t win, we still have each other’s backs.”

The Wildcats’ aggressive offense gave them a one-run lead in the first inning with a hit to left field that barely escaped an outfielder’s mitt. LGHS continued to dominate in the bottom of the inning with cohesive defense that kept all three MVHS batters from reaching first base.

The Matadors struggled with communication in the top of the second inning as the Wildcats scored another run with a hit to left field. After accumulating two strikes, senior Kalani Seaver made MVHS’ first and only run of the day with a home run over the left field fence.
However, the MVHS defense came together in the third and fourth inning to prevent LGHS from progressing past first base. In the bottom of the fourth, LGHS’ unconnected throws allowed sophomore Janaye Sakkas to hit a double.

“Our energy was up the whole time in the dugout, and everyone was really happy and excited,” Ahluwalia said. “We were really close; we did a lot better than last time when we got run-ruled. We were 1-4, which is pretty good. I think we just had trouble executing batting — we needed to get more hits.”

In the fifth inning, gaps in the MVHS defense allowed LGHS to score another run. Seniors Nikita Agarwal and Page did not run past first base, and two other MVHS batters struck out. Neither team was able to score in the sixth.

After tagging out the first runner in the seventh inning, the seniors stepped off the field and substituted their positions to the new team. LGHS increased its lead to 4-1 as the new team struggled to communicate, allowing another run with a hit to left field. MVHS was unable to reach first and struck out twice.

The game ended with an emotional senior night ceremony. Five seniors are graduating this year: Agarwal, Carissa Chan, Raychel Cruz, Seaver and Page.

Monta Vista High School varsity softball head coach Ray Teixeira’s senior night game speeches:

“Next year, we’re hoping to perform,” head coach Ray Teixeira said. “Hopefully we’ll build upon the little successes we had this year. It’s tough to replace the young ladies who are graduating, but we supposedly have a decent freshman class coming in next year, so we want to build on that and do a lot better.”