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SJND Sports Roundup: Pilots Softball Squad Win Four in a Row

Mercy. That was the last word uttered after the Saint Joseph Notre Dame Pilots (4-1) dominated San Francisco’s Bay School Breakers (1-4) 15-4 at home on Thursday afternoon, March 20.

Alameda Post - the Pilots softball team poses and smiles
Pilots Softball team’s post-game pose to signify four-game winning streak. Photo Gabriel Caraballo.

The emphatic win capped off a four-game winning streak for the Pilots softball squad, which hasn’t lost a game since their season opener. After outscoring the competition 37-10 in total runs for its last three games, Saint Joe’s looked to continue this trend against the Breakers—and they did. After two innings, the Pilots had a quick 5-1 lead, courtesy of two base hits and several walks in the first inning. Then the Breakers connected with two consecutive base hits in the third inning, giving them some momentum, and two earned runs. At that point the Pilots, whose lead had shrunk to 5-3, had to shake off the Breakers pursuit.

But the Pilots didn’t falter, as they continued to show their strength in the fourth inning. Three consecutive hits from sophomore Cassandra Sanchez, freshman Ella Schwartz, and sophomore Zora Oliverius gave them another three runs, resulting in an 8-3 lead over the Breakers.

The fifth inning went similarly when junior Lexi Roben smacked a triple down right field, and then on the next play took advantage of a Breakers error and stole home. Shortly after Roben scored, Schwartz racked up an RBI, pushing the Pilots’ lead to 10-3 to conclude the fifth inning. At the top of the sixth, Bay School scored one final run, but the Pilots answered with another five of their own and claimed a dominant 15-4 victory.

The victory advanced Saint Joe’s to 4-1 on the season, as the team looks to continue its winning ways on the road against Hayward’s Mt. Eden Monarchs, on Saturday, March 23.

Volleyball winning streak ends in loss to Hornets

On Wednesday, the Pilots (8-6) hosted the Alameda High School Hornets (10-4) at Saint Joe’s Kelly Gymnasium. Going in, the Pilots had been on a four-game winning streak, but the Hornets put an end to it and captured a 3-1 set victory over the Pilots.

The Pilots only set victory was the second of the four sets played. In that second set, Saint Joe’s started off hot with an 8-5 lead early on. The Pilots biggest lead of the game came at 20-16, but then Alameda High went on a four-point scoring run and tied the score 20-20. Both teams continued to battle until tied at 25-25, when Saint Joe’s junior middle blocker Samuel Baleinakorodawa delivered a devastating spike and final block that won the set for Pilots at 27-25.

The fourth set showed some hope for the Pilots, but ultimately concluded 21-25 in favor of the Hornets. Early in the set, Saint Joe’s was down 3-8 to Alameda High, but despite the five-point deficit, the Pilots gnawed back, tying the set at 10 points apiece. However, the Hornets stopped the Pilots’ run with one of their own, going up 14-10 and maintaining that four-point lead for the remainder of the set.

Saint Joe’s played a competitive game, but fell to 8-6 on the season. The Pilots take the court again on Friday at 5:30 p.m., when they face Head Royce in Oakland, but will return to the comfort of home on March 28 to face College Prep.

Alameda Post - the Pilots baseball team kneels on the field while coaching staff talk to them
Pilots Baseball post-game team huddle. Photo Gabriel Caraballo.

Baseball team suffers third straight loss

On Tuesday, March 19, the Pilots (2-4) suffered their third straight loss of the season to the Piedmont High School Highlanders (6-2), in a 7-11 battle at Pat Bail Field (College of Alameda).

The game seemed like an open-and-shut case for the Highlanders, who dominated six of the seven innings with 11 unanswered runs, but the Pilots maintained composure and showered down seven runs in their last at-bat.

Down 0-11 after six innings, Saint Joe’s started the bottom of the seventh with a midfield double from junior Isaiah Dumont. Dumont then stole third base, giving the Pilots some much-needed momentum. Next up, freshman Brandon Ng followed suit with a single, resulting in an RBI that gave Saint Joe’s its first run of the game. These two plays started a chain reaction of contact that in the end totaled eight hits for seven runs before the Pilots’ first out. However, after Brandon Ng singled for another RBI, this time for two runs, Piedmont would record three quick outs against the Pilots to put the comeback to rest.

Despite the loss to the Highlanders, Saint Joe’s fought back and nearly overcame an incredible deficit. Now 2-4 on the season, the Pilots take the field next on Friday, March 22, when they host the Head Royce Jayhawks at Pat Bail Field.

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

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