Grand slam helps Southwest overcome solid outing from Montes
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: South San, Southwest.
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South San pitcher Alyssa Montes was in control during the early innings March 27 at Southwest.
Montes didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings.Then the Dragons (16-6, 2-1) demonstrated why they’ve been one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the metro area over the last several seasons.
A pair of walks to Southwest’s Caitlin Terrazas changed the game. Terrazas drew a walk on five pitches in the fourth inning. When Terrazas waited out two more pitches outside the strike zone in her next at-bat, the Dragons standout uncorked a grand-slam home run that provided the impetus for an 8-5 District 28-6A win.
“I knew she was going to pitch me outside,” the junior pitcher said. “I was determined that if she got a pitch up, I was going to jump on it. That’s what happened.”
South San (12-6, 0-3), which has opened district play with three tough losses, scratched out a run in its first at-bat. Bobcats shortstop Amanda Vallejo manufactured the run from a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt by Tara Salazar and two wild pitches.
Montes retired the first 11 Dragons batters in order to preserve the shutout.
“Alyssa has been battling,” South San coach Ray Castillo said. “She’s always looking forward to the next challenger. She’s always looking to give a better performance.”
Following Terrazas’ two-out walk in the fourth, Miranda Gonzales sent the game’s first hit to center field. Then senior third baseman Yanira Fernandez found the left-center field gap for a two-run single.
“YaYa always comes through for us,” Southwest coach Sandy Hernandez said. “She must love that No. 6 spot (in the lineup).”
South San couldn’t regain the lead, despite a last-inning uprising.
After the first-inning run, Terrazas retired the next 10 of the next 11 Bobcats. The lone baserunner was caught stealing by Southwest catcher Juliana Cerda.
Southwest set the table for Terrazas in the fifth with a walk to Deja Tapia and Isabel Soto’s infield single.
“It’s tough, because we kept it close for a while,” Castillo said. “What can you say about a phenomenal player like (Terrazas)?”
Terrazas didn’t allow a hit until the second batter in South San’s half of the sixth. Montes hit a drive to straightaway center field for a solo home run and the Dragons’ lead was slashed to 6-1.
Southwest used base hits from Cerda and Soto (2-for-3) out of the bottom half of the order to make it 8-1 in the sixth.
The insurance runs almost came into play. South San pushed across three runs in the seventh without picking up its third hit. Rebekah Ricondo, Andrea Ricondo and Brooke Flores touched the plate after drawing walks. Vallejo added a sacrifice fly.
“My girls played well,” Castillo said. “They’re very young. We just need to continue improving every week. We need to keep fighting and take advantage of opportunities.”
The Dragons got back on track after losing to East Central March 24.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Terrazas said of Southwest’s 23rd softball team. “We understand that we have to work hard and utilize the talent we do have. We have to play to the best of our ability every game.”