By Bill Tamburrino
The Bulldog girls softball team opened Valley League action with two strong pitching performances that resulted in two league wins on the road.
Coach Cori McDonald was pleased with the team’s pitching, hitting and especially the senior leadership.
“Our senior leadership got us two league wins,” she said. “To say that they stepped up to the plate would not be a cliché. Amber Davis, Kailey Hill and Bre Hirsh all hit home runs. Christina Barrameda was robbed of a home run at Valley Center when their outfielder reached over the fence to catch a drive off of her bat. Senior leadership is very important because we have five freshmen and three sophomores on our team.”
Hill saved her best outing of the year for the Valley League opener against Valley Center April 7. The senior hurler went the distance and limited the Jaguars to three hits and no earned runs as she struck out nine. Only four Jaguar hitters got the ball out of the infield.
Valley Center got on the scoreboard first with an unearned run in the first inning. Amber Davis tied the score in the third inning with a solo home run to dead center field.
The game was tied in the top of the seventh inning when Sara Whelehon led off the inning with a base hit. Jordyn Fick reached on an error. With two down, the Jaguars issued Hill an intentional walk, her third base on balls of the game. Hanah Bowen then hit a shot to third that was ruled an error but drove in two runs. Hill retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the win.
Bowen was in complete control as she pitched a two-hit shutout against Oceanside on the road April 10. The freshman hurler struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked only one.
“She pitched a very good game. She pitched more like a veteran than a freshman,” said McDonald.
Bowen also helped her own cause at the plate as she went 3-for-3, scored two runs and drove in a run.
Hirsh and Hill each hit round-trippers to pace a 14-hit attack as the Lady Dawgs turned in an 11-0 win. Hill was 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Fick had a double and a single and an RBI. Jonna Rodriguez also had a three-hit game with a double and an RBI. Hayley Brinker and Whelehon also singled. Brinker drove in a run.
The Lady Bulldogs will take spring break off and return to the diamond on April 22 at home in a non- league game against Steele Canyon.