Errors, walks plague Dragons in loss
Southwest had just put together one of the big innings the program is known for when South San coach Rosemary Morales decided her team needed a bit of inspiration, and perspective.
The Dragons, No. 4 in the Express-News area rankings, broke a 1-1 tie and built a four-run lead. South San, which hadn’t defeated perennial District 28-5A champion Southwest in at least seven years, had seen that type of rally many times in the past few years. This time, the Bobcats (9-6-1, 1-0) decided it wouldn’t crush them.
South San manufactured a six-run rally of its own and never trailed Southwest (14-7, 0-1) again. The Bobcats went on to a 13-8 victory last Thursday in the 28-5A opener for both teams at South San Field.
“The girls were probably doubting themselves, being down 5-1,” the second-year Bobcats coach said. “They were back to ‘everybody comes back and beats you.’
“That hit by Nikki (Velasquez) was so important. I told them, ‘Who says you can’t beat this team?’ “
An RBI single from No. 9 hitter Amanda Sanchez, a sacrifice fly by senior Liz Phillips and an RBI single from Kayla Arguello had staked Southwest to a 5-1 lead midway through the second inning.
Back-to-back, run-scoring doubles from Velasquez and freshman Alyssa Montes, who was the winning pitcher, enabled South San to respond with a six-run rally. Velasquez’s double to right field sent home two runs.
The Bobcats never trailed again.
“We’ve come together as a team,” Velasquez said. “We had our ups and downs at the beginning. Defense is something we’ve worked on.
“It’s exciting. We’ve come a long, long way. Winning our first district game is just the start of it.”
Southwest was within 10-8 in the top of the fifth. Pinch-hitter Krystal Flores delivered a two-run single to center field that closed the gap. South San pitcher Montes initiated a force out at third base on the previous at-bat and then recorded a strikeout to escape the threat.
A two-run double from senior Desirae Duncan in the bottom of the inning effectively put the game out of the Dragons’ reach. Southwest was hampered by four errors.
“That wasn’t the Southwest Dragons,” Southwest coach Sandra Hernandez said. “It wasn’t the same team. On the other hand, South San played really well.
“It was kind of a domino effect. Errors started it, then we had problems with our pitching, and after that we couldn’t hit.”
South San, behind freshman pitcher Montes, kept the Dragons in check over the last two innings to record arguably the biggest win in the program’s recent history.
“Our kids hadn’t been hitting like that,” Morales said. “That was the first time came out and hit all game long – and we had aggressive running on the bases.
“The girls knew the importance of these games, especially this one.”
MORE TO COME