Coach’s formula works in two softball wins

By Bill Tamburrino

Coach Antoinette Rodriguez used the same formula to win two CIF Division III playoff softball games.
Her Lady Bulldogs rely on good pitching and steady defense and then put together a rally and fight off a late rally to hold on to win.
The formula worked against El Capitan High School at home and it worked against University City High School on the road.
The Lady Bulldogs are now 16-14 on the season.

Coaches Robin Brainard, Antoinette Rodriguez and Corey McDonald get a cheer from their players after their victory over El Capitan. The scoreboard says it all. Sentinel photo/ Bill Tamburrino

Things looked bleak for the Lady Bulldogs in the opening round game of the Division CIF playoffs. El Capitan’s Delanie Gourley was pitching a gem and the Lady Dawgs were not even making contact with the sophomore south paw bound for Florida.
Julie Ward was also pitching a great game and was getting great defensive support but the Ramona offense was non-existent — until it counted.
El Cap scored a run in the top of the first and it looked like that would be all that the Vaqueros would need to upset the fourth seeded Lady Bulldogs on their home diamond.
Gourley struck out the first nine Lady Dawgs she faced before she gave up a hit to Kailey Hill in the fourth inning. With two outs, Hill advanced to second when Cassie Ford drew a walk Gourley then fanned two more to end the rally.
Ward kept pitching and kept the Lady Dawgs in the game. She got some great support. In the third inning, Lexi Slater and Amber Davis teamed up to end a rally. Slater made a running catch on a sinking pop fly and wheeled on the run and threw to Davis to get the final out at third base.
In the sixth inning, Kim Whelehon made a diving catch in left field on a sinking line drive. If the ball would have gotten through it would have been an extra base hit. Ramona staged its best rally of the year in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two down on Gourley’s 13th and 14th strikeouts of the game the Lady Dawgs bats came alive.
Slater started the rally with a line drive single to left field. Ford took one for the team as she reached first after being hit by a pitch.
Ward came to the plate with a chance to win her own game. She lined a single to center field. The hard hit ball was fielded cleanly by the Vaqueros’ center fielder and she made a throw to the plate.
Slater, going on the pitch, scored the tying run and Ford advanced to third and Ward advanced to second. KK Melgoza then hit a sinking line drive to center field that got by the diving center fielder for a two-run double.
Ward kept on pitching. Gourley got a one out walk and was sacrificed to second base. She scored on a single to left that Whelehon made an excellent play on. Whelehon made a running catch and threw a strike to Ford at the plate. The play was close but El Cap got the call. Whelehon made the final out of the game when Ward got Katie Carmichael to fly out.
Ward picked up the win by scattering eight hits as she got support from her defense.
After beating El Capitan at home, the Lady Bulldogs had to travel to the home of the number one seed, University City High School.
Again, the Lady Dawgs were entrenched in a pitchers’ duel. Again, the Lady Bulldogs parlayed one rally and held on for a victory.
Ward just kept on pitching. She went the distance and scattered six hits as she struck out four Centurions and limited the number one team in Division III to one run.Ramona used a familiar formula to score two runs in the top of the second inning. Ford took another one for the team and reached first after being hit by a pitch.

Related posts:

  1. Softball team wins three Valley League games
  2. Softball loses to Oceanside, Mt. Carmel
  3. Softball continues to improve, wins three-in-a-row
  4. Softball team heads for season playoffs
  5. Softball team has best week of the season

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Posted by Nancy Stegon on May 26 2011. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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