By Bill Tamburrino
Coach Antoinette Rodriguez is pleased with the progress of her varsity softball team, but she is quick to point out that it is still early in the season.
“We are still a work in progress,” she said. “We are trying to put the players in the correct spots to best utilize their talents. The girls put a lot of pressure on themselves and they have high expectations. What I am most proud of is that we find a way as a team to rise to the occasion. We came from behind twice this week with rallies to win big games.”
With three wins over Granite Hills, San Marcos, and San Dieguito this week, the Lady Bulldogs are 6-1-1 and are expected to move up from their number 10 ranking in the county.
Kailey Hill was in control against Granite Hills as the sophomore right-hander tossed a complete game and limited the Eagles to two hits and two walks and struck out 11 in the 2-0 shutout. Ramona made the most of its five hits. Hill provided all of the runs that the Lady Bulldogs would need when she hit a solo home run in the top of the first inning.
Amber Davis provided an insurance run with another solo blast in the top of the second inning. Davis was the only player on either team to collect two hits. Jazmin Simone and Adrianna Johnson also stroked hits for the Lady Dawgs in the game.
Ramona used an old-fashioned rally to come from behind to beat San Marcos in what was technically an away game played at home. Hill again went the distance to get the win as she gave up three runs on three hits, walked four, and fanned eight.
Four Lady Bulldogs contributed two hits apiece to the offense: Hill, Kim Whelehon, Davis, and KK Melgoza. Kristina Barrameda, Kenzie Wright, and Julie Ward also hit for the Lady Dawgs.
Whelehon scored Ramona’s first two runs. She singled and scored on a Davis RBI single in the first and hit the first home run of her career when she led off the third inning.
Ramona trailed 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning but rallied to win the game. With one out, Simone reached base when she was hit by a pitch. Whelehon reached on an error and Hill delivered an RBI single. Davis drove Whelehon and Hill with a double and advanced to third on a Barrameda hit. Melgoza delivered a sacrifice fly to score Davis, and Hill put up zeros on the scoreboard for the rest of the game to preserve the win.
Hill finished the week by picking up her third win in the circle. This time it was in relief over the San Dieguito Mustangs. Ward got the start and pitched well but trailed 3-0 after going five innings. She limited the Mustangs to one earned run on five hits. She walked three and fanned three.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the sixth inning Ramona’s offense came to life when Hill and Davis blasted back-to-back home runs.
With one out in the seventh inning, Micaela Fields reached base on an error. Simone also got on on an error. With two down, Hill came up with her second hit in two innings driving in Fields and Simone for the tying and winning runs.
The Lady Bulldogs were not done scoring. Davis stroked her second consecutive hit. Hill advanced to third, and Davis took second. Barrameda then stroked a two-run single to add insurance runs to the scoreboard.
Hill retired the final six batters to ensure the victory.
Melgoza, Kenzie Wright, and Ward also contributed hits to the win.