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High School Softball Roundup: Hornets and Pilots

SJND Falls to Redwood Christian Eagles after 11 errors

A cold wind blew over Lydecker Park on Thursday, April 18, as the Saint Joseph Notre Dame Pilots varsity softball team (9-3) fell to the visiting San Lorenzo Redwood Christian Eagles (8-9) by a score of 8-7 in seven innings. The Pilots smacked a game-leading 13 hits, but in spite of that valiant hitting performance Saint Joe’s committed 11 errors, one of which might have cost them the game.

Alameda Post - a Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School pilots softball player stands at the plate
SJND batter prepares to swing. Photo Gabriel Caraballo.

“When the game comes around it’s really fast paced,” said head coach Ralph Gonzales. “We need to replicate that more in practice… just working on communicating and making good throws.”

It was a scoreless afternoon for three innings, but in the fourth, runs started to pour and momentum started to shift. Redwood Christian started with two RBI’s for a 2-0 lead, but Saint Joe’s got six hits for three runs. Cassie Sanchez started the rally with a double and, after a Pilot single, scored the Pilots first run of the game. Next, Kathryn Gille doubled for an RBI, and tied the game at 2-2. The hits continued as Dylan Valentine singled, brought a runner home, and gave the Pilots a 3-2 lead.

In the fifth inning, Redwood Christian came back with two runs and regained the lead. Savannah Henderson singled to first and, after a Pilot error, stole third base and got into scoring position. After that, the Eagles smacked consecutive triples that brought Henderson and another baserunner home to go up 4-3 over Saint Joe’s. In the bottom half, Saint Joe’s had the bases loaded, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity before their third out.

In the sixth inning, the Pilots mounted a three-run comeback. After the Eagles went down quickly in the top of the inning, Saint Joe’s started the bottom with four consecutive hits and scored two runs.Valentine, Sanchez, and Ella Schwartz each had a single, while Francesca Boccucci hit a double for a 5-4 Pilot lead. And the Pilots weren’t yet done. With runners in scoring position, Schwartz scored after a groundout from Zora Oliverius, and the Pilots were up 6-4 before the sixth inning ultimately ended.

In the final inning, Redwood Christian started the top half with six hits for three runs and regained the lead at 7-6. The Pilots did get two outs against the Eagles, but Sara Collier was in scoring position. After a wild pitch, Collier stole home. She was almost tagged out but a short toss from Cassie Sanchez to Pilot catcher Safah Hashemi missed its mark and Collier scored, giving the Eagles an 8-6 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Pilots got two runners in scoring position but only brought in one. Dylan Valentine grounded out for the RBI and the Pilots last run of the contest, as Saint Joe’s fell to the Eagles with a final score of 8-7.

Alameda Post - an AHS Hornets softball player swings
AHS athlete Katy Lambert inside the park. Photo Gabriel Caraballo.

Alameda Hornets sting Berkeley Yellow Jackets in 12-1 victory

On Friday, April 26, the Alameda High School Hornets (14-2) swarmed the visiting Berkeley High Yellow Jackets (7-9) in a 12-1 victory. The game was called after five innings. Alameda led the game with nine hits, 11 RBIs, and one inside-the-park home run.

“We had been struggling a lot with hitting these past couple games, so it was nice to see the hits come together,” said head coach Meida Tautalatasi, “and hopefully they carry on for the rest of the season.”

After three innings the Hornets were up 12-0, scoring most of their runs in the first and third innings. In the first inning Alameda’s Mia Wong and Miley Gradney contributed base hits for RBIs. But Katy Lambert had the highlight of the game when she smashed a pitch down the middle for an inside-the-park home run. The Hornets scored once in the second inning with an RBI courtesy of Leaira Robinson and went into the third inning up 4-0 .

In the third inning Alameda had a field day, scoring eight more runs. The Hornets started with three consecutive hits and an RBI from Katy Lambert to go up 5-0. Then, with the bases loaded, Julia Lambert smacked a double down midfield and brought home all the runners for an 8-0 Alameda lead. Next, Miley Gradney and Leaira Robinson both hit for RBIs to secure a 10-0 lead. After a couple of Hornets walked, Jasmine Whorley brought both runners home with a double, taking the game to a 12-0 Hornet lead.

In the fourth inning, the Yellow Jackets would get their only run of the contest. With a runner in scoring position, Berkeley’s Riley Pritchard grounded out for an RBI, putting the Yellow Jackets on the board at 12-1. But Alameda quickly got three outs to finish the fourth. In the fifth, Berkeley went up to bat but were quickly cleaned up by the Hornets to end the game.

Next games

Saint Joseph’s Notre Dame went on the road Monday, April 28, and beat San Francisco’s University High School 6-4, advancing the Pilots to a 9-3 overall record on the season. The team will return home Monday, May 6, to face California School for the Deaf.

Alameda High traveled to San Leandro High School to take on the Pirates on Tuesday, April 30. They’ll travel to Oakland to face Bishop O’Dowd on Wednesday, May 1, and return home Friday, April 3, to face San Lorenzo’s Arroyo High School Dons.

Contributing writer Gabriel Caraballo covers local sports for the Alameda Post. Contact him via [email protected]. His writing is collected

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