The Pintos softball team posted its third win in a row in a blowout 14-0 game against the Pilot Grove Tigers on Sept. 24.
For the Pintos (14-3), the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning. After an out to start the inning, Jenna Berendzen got on base thanks to a walk. The next batter, Kaylena Riggs, also got on base with a walk. With Alexis Mullen at the plate and two runners on, the Pintos scored the first run of the game off a double steal. Mullen would then score the second run for the Pintos on a base hit to make it 2-0. The Pintos would add one more run to make it a 3-0 game.
In the top of the third inning, Camryn Schlup struck out the side in order for the Pintos. Schlup had 14 strikeouts in the game and only allowed two hits.
California added to its lead in the bottom of the third inning. After back-to-back walks by Schlup and Ella Percival, the Pintos had two runners on and no outs. The Pintos added a run after a wild pitch to make it 4-0. Shortly after that, the Pintos loaded the bases thanks to two more walks. California took advantage of pitches getting past the Tigers' catcher, as California scored two of its next three runs on pitches past the catcher. The Pintos scored four runs in the inning and led 7-0 heading into the top of the fourth.
The Pintos forced six walks in the second and third inning combined. Head coach Steven Stock said the team has to take the walks if the other team is giving them.
"Bottom line in this game is score as many runs as you can and hold the other team to as few as you can," Stock said.
Pilot Grove (3-9) got its first hit of the game in the top of the fourth inning, but the team would not be able to do anything with it.
The Pintos really pulled away in the bottom of the fourth inning. Schlup led off the inning with a double and scored after Percival reached first base on an error to make it 8-0. It was one of eight errors in the game for Pilot Grove. Berendzen would then hit a double to score another run to make it 9-0. Later in the inning with California leading 11-0, Lauren Spillars hit a ball off the third baseman's glove to make it 12-0. Lauren Hill added another run to make it 13-0, and Schlup would triple to make it 14-0. The Pintos ended the inning with seven runs scored.
Stock said the team made adjustments at the plate and started hitting the ball better. Stock said it was huge that the Pintos took advantage of the Tigers' errors.
"If they give you an opportunity to score a run on a passed ball, you have to just take it and go with it," Stock said. "With this game, you never know. All of a sudden, you don't score a couple and you maybe score three runs and all of a sudden they have an inning and you make a mistake, they get a couple and then it is a game. Every chance you get you score when you can."
The Tigers had a chance to end the shutout after their leadoff hitter got on base with a hit and then made it to third later in the inning. But Schlup struck out the final three batters to end the game.
California scored their 14 runs on seven hits and had one error on the day. The Pintos have won four of their last six games.