Softball: Matadors lose 13-6 after six-run fifth inning


Pranav Iyer


The Matadors and the Branham Bruins had a combined record of 14-2 coming into their matchup on Thursday Mar. 12. It was a battle of Goliaths and it sure did seem like one, with both teams blowing heavy punches throughout the game.

The first blow was delivered by the Bruins. After having already scored two runs in the first, the Bruins were looking for more with two outs the second. In just three at bats, the Matador defense allowed three doubles and three more runs to score.

Down 5-0, just two innings into the game, the Matadors needed a quick turnaround. And that is exactly what they got.

“I think we were a bit stunned that they put that many up on the board,” MVHS coach Raymond Teixeira said. “It think it surprised them a little but they bounced back and were able to respond well in the next inning.”

Senior Tamanna Ahluwalia replaced sophomore Danielle Koontz after the second inning. Her pitching helped cool down the Bruin offense and give the Matadors momentum.

The rally was started off by senior Janaye Sakkas. Her single led to another and it just kept on going from there.

“After we had people on base, everyone just started hitting and we were all cheering each other on,” Sakkas said. “That team morale really propelled us to score those runs.”

In the matter of one inning, Branham’s once commanding lead vanished completely. From there, the Matadors were able to carry their momentum to defense, where, fueled by a pitching change to senior Tamanna Ahluwalia, they were finally able to come away without any harm done on the scoreboard.

The Bruins’ weapon to containing the Matador bats was junior Emily Martin. After being inserted into the game in the third inning, she allowed only one run for the duration of the game.

As the fifth inning started, the score was 6-6 and it looked as if this would go down to the wire due to the fact that the Bruin hitters were cooling off. But all of a sudden Branham HS found a spark and went on an even bigger run this time, scoring six in the fifth alone.

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This tag-out by junior Marissa Lee was one of the few positives late in the game for the Matadors. The Matadors were outscored 7-0 during the final three innings.

“We tried to get on base and let batters after [them] knock them in, and they did that really well,” Branham HS coach David Volz said.
The scoring was a culmination of good hitting by the Bruins as well as sloppy defense by the Matadors, who committed several fielding errors throughout that inning.

And from there there was no looking back for the Bruins. The Matadors were hopeful that they could make another comeback, but with Marten’s stellar pitching, their chances were dashed and they ended up losing 13-6.

Although it was a loss for the Matadors, Sakkas believes she and her team should use it as a learning experience as they prepare for their upcoming league games.

Staying in the context of league play, the Santa Teresa League has to be ready for senior Marissa Dierkes. Clearly the most dominant batter from both sides, Dierkes was able to smash balls all over the field with ease. Her combination of size, power, and skill is something that can be a threat to even some of the league’s greatest pitchers.

The Matadors move onto league play having lost two in a row, the second coming to Prospect HS 4-5 on Friday Mar. 17. Their first league game will be at home against Palo Alto HS on Wednesday Mar. 18 at 4:00 pm.