By Bill Tamburrino
Coach Antoinette Rodriguez again led her team deep into the Division II CIF softball playoffs. The Lady Dawgs advanced to semifinal doubleheader round at Poway Sports Park before being eliminated.
They finished the campaign with a 19-10-1 record.
To get to the Poway Sports Park, Ramona beat Palomar League foe Westview High School 8-7 at home in a 10-inning game that was as exhausting to watch as it was to play.
It was the third time the two teams met. Ramona beat the Wolverines (18-13) 10-0 in the first meeting and then beat the much improved team 3-2 in the second game of league play.
Westview scored an unearned run in the first inning and led 3-0 after two and a half innings. Ramona’s defense had its worst game of the season as players committed seven errors and gave up four unearned runs, but the Lady Dawgs refused to quit.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Ramona tied the game when Christina Barrameda singled, KK Melgoza reached on an error, and Kailey Hill received the second of her four walks in the game. Amber Davis received a base on balls for an RBI, and Adriana Johnson then ripped a two run single.
Ramona scored two runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. With one out, the Wolverines pitched to Hill and the sophomore stroked a base hit. Davis followed with a single. With two down, senior Kim Whelehon came through in the clutch with a two-run double.
Ramona then gave up two unearned runs in the sixth inning to tie the game.
It appeared that the Lady Dawgs had won the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Julie Ward hit what appeared to be a bases loaded single that scored Johnson. However, the base umpire ruled that base runner, Whelehon, committed obstruction on the play and that was ruled the third out of the inning.
Westview scored another unearned run in the eighth inning to take a 7-6 lead. With two out and two strikes in the bottom of the eighth inning, Ramona’s season appeared to be over, but nobody told senior centerfielder KK Melgoza that it was time to quit. With two strikes, Melgoza delivered the first home run of her RHS softball career over the centerfield fence to tie the game at seven and change the game’s momentum.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Jazmin Simone led off the frame with a single. Barrameda sacrificed her to second base. With two out, Westview elected not to pitch to Hill and issued her a walk.
Davis then delivered in the clutch. The diminutive sophomore stroked a line drive to deep right field. The Westview right-fielder sprinted for the ball and managed to get her glove on the ball, but she could not make the catch, and when the dust cleared Simone and Hill had scored and Davis ended with her second and third RBI of the game. More importantly Ramona had won the 8-7 marathon.
Whelehon, Melgoza, and Davis each had two-hit outings. Hill went the distance for the win and gave up three earned runs on nine hits. She struck out 13 and never let any of the seven errors get her down.
The box scores on Ramona’s 10-2 loss to San Marcos in the fourth round of the CIF Division II playoffs are deceptive.
Starting pitcher Kailey Hill pitched four innings and allowed only one hit and gave up two earned runs. She struck out five. The statistics that hurt her were bases on balls and errors.
Hill issued 11 walks and her defense committed three errors. When she left the game after four innings, she trailed 6-0. Even though she gave up 11 walks, she did not appear wild. Several of the walks issued came with two strikes and were very close to the strike zone.
Julie Ward pitched the fifth inning and tossed a shutout inning. Ramona scored two earned runs in the bottom of the frame to make the score 6-2 even though both teams had scored two earned runs.
San Marcos scored four runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of
reach. Ward’s line on the day was four runs on four hits with three walks and a strike out. Another stat that hurt both pitchers was that they only threw strikes on 50 percent of their pitches.
Ramona outhit San Marcos (21-7) six to five. The loss eliminated Ramona from the playoffs and was Antoinette Rodriguez’ final game in her second stint as the coach of the varsity softball team. Coach Rodriguez will be an assistant principal at Ramona High School next year after being a teacher on assignment in the district office. Her replacement has not been named.
“It was not the way we wanted to end the season, but that does not put a damper on the great season that we had,” she said. “We played a very demanding schedule and we played for the league title in our final league game. Give a lot of credit to my coaching staff: Cori McDonald and Robin Brainard. They both contributed greatly to our success. The girls on the team played hard and improved and represented Ramona High School very well. They displayed excellent sportsmanship.”
Seniors Ally Harvey, Kasandra Toll, Kim Whelehon, and KK Melgoza have played their final game and will move on. Whelehon and Melgoza will play college softball next season.