By Bill Tamburrino
The constantly improving Lady Bulldogs recorded their best week of the softball season as they picked up three wins, two in Palomar League action, to improve to 13-13 overall and 3-5 in league.
Lexi Slater’s bat remained torrid as she picked up nine hits and two more home runs in the three games.
“Lexi has made a comeback with a vengeance,” said Coach Antoinette Rodriguez. “She was slowed down by an injury earlier in the season. She is on fire now. She really wants it. Lexi, Cassie (Ford) and Kailey (Hill) created hits that led to runs. The hitters that got on base with errors hit the ball and did their jobs.
“Record wise, we are number eight in Division III. Our strength of schedule puts us much higher. Our schedule should work in our favor when the seeding is done.”
Ramona beat Orange Glen 9-5 at home on May 2 in a non-league game. The Patriots (4-14, 1-6) scored one run in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Dawgs rallied for four runs in the bottom of the frame and never trailed after that.
The big blow in the inning was a two-run home run by Lexi Slater. The blast cleared the centerfield fence. It was Slater’s fourth home run in three games. Slater finished the day 2-for-3 with a double and scored two runs.
Right fielder Emily Vandervort had a perfect day at the plate. She went 2-for-2 with an RBI and drew two walks. Frosh third sacker Amber Davis went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Cassie Ford had an RBI double in three trips to the plate. Kailey Hill and Kim Whelehon also hit safely for the Lady Dawgs. Whelehon scored three runs. Ally Harvey and Kellsie Domnitz drove in runs for the win.
Julie Ward went the distance and picked up the win. Ward gave up five runs on eight hits and struck out five. The Lady Bulldogs avenged an earlier loss to Rancho Bernardo (14-10, 5-3) and beat the Broncos in a 9-7 slug fest. In their previous meeting, the Broncos limited Ramona to two hits. The ever improving Lady Dawgs ripped 10 hits in the rematch. Slater had another monster day at the plate. The senior shortstop went 4-for-4 with a grand slam home run, two doubles and five RBI. Davis had another multiple hit outing going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Ford also ripped a double for an RBI. Melgoza, Domnitz and Vandervort contributed hits to the win. Melgoza drove in a run.
Whelehon started two rallies the hard way. She took two for the team as she got hit by two pitches and scored two runs. Ward went the distance and got her second win in two starts. She gave up seven runs on eight hits and fanned one. Only one run was earned as the Lady Bulldog defense committed seven errors but turned in some big plays when they were needed. Ward got Tiana Miller to hit into two inning ending double plays. In the first Miller hit one up the middle to Slater who touched second and fired to Domnitz at first. In the fourth the Lady Dawgs turned a classic 6-4-3 DP (Slater to Hill to Domnitz).
The Lady Bulldogs finished the week with a come from behind 8-7 win over Mt. Carmel (13-9, 3-5). The Ladies from the Valley of the Sun made the most of seven hits and took advantage of five Sundevil errors to finish the best week of their season.
Seniors Slater and Ford led the way as they provided four of the team’s RBIs. Slater reached base in all four of her plate appearances as she had a double and two singles, scored two runs and drove in a run. Ford drove in three runs in four trips with a double and a single. Hill was the only other Lady Dawg to hit safely. The freshman went 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Ward also drove in a run.
Ward pitched six innings and gave up 14 hits and six runs to pick up the victory. Ally Harvey pitched one inning and gave up a run on a hit. “Mt. Carmel made some mistakes but we were good enough to capitalize on their errors. Our hitters came through when they had to with runners on base. If you put the ball in play good things happen,” said Rodriguez.