The California Pintos softball team took advantage of scoring opportunities early as it scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 8-1 win Oct. 8 over the Osage Indians on the team's senior night.
The Pintos, who moved to 17-4 on the year with the win, scored eight runs on seven hits in the game and took advantage of Osage's eight errors in the game.
The first inning started with Lauren Spilars reaching first base on an error. The next batter, Lauren Hill, hit a ball that went off the pitcher's glove, and she was able to make it safely to first base. With two runners on, Camryn Schlup hit a two RBI single to left field to make it 2-0. Ella Percival kept the big inning going with a base hit. During the next at bat, the Pintos attempted a double steal; the throw from Osage's catcher went off the glove of the third baseman. As a result, the Pintos added another run to make it 3-0. The Pintos added their final run of the inning on a similar play where again the throw from the catcher went past the third baseman and allowed the Pintos to make it 4-0.
Osage had a chance to get on the board in the second inning, as they had a runner on third base and two outs, but Schlup struck out the batter to end the inning.
Neither team had much success in the middle innings until the top of the fourth inning, when Osage had two runners on with one out, but the Pintos forced a ground out and Schlup got the final out on a strikeout with runners on second and third to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with one out in the inning, Mariah Mills made it safely to first base on a ball hit into the infield as Osage's first baseman dropped the throw to first. The next batter, Kaylena Riggs, hit a double over the right fielder's head to give the Pintos runners on second and third with one out. The Pintos added another run in the inning to make it 5-0.
The Indians finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning. After two quick outs, the Indians kept the inning alive on a high pop up that landed in between California's first and second basemen. Osage scored the run on a triple to make it 5-1.
A breakdown in communication affected the play on the popup, according to head coach Steven Stock.
"We had a breakdown in communication on that fly ball, which can only be corrected by that communication taking place the next time that situation happens," Stock said.
California responded with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away from the Indians. The inning started with back-to-back hits to center field by Jenna Berendzen and Mariah Mills. Kaylena Riggs then hit a bunt and, thanks to a bad throw, two runs scored to make it 7-1. A couple of batters later, Lauren Spillars brought Riggs home on a hit to make it 8-1.
Stock said scoring those three runs helped the team keep momentum.
"Momentum is a big part of any game, and when we came back with three runs right after they scored a run, that allowed us to keep the momentum and finish the game the way we did," Stock said.
California then put the Indians down quickly in the top of the seventh as Schlup pitched a 1-2-3 inning that ended with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game. Schlup had 11 strikeouts in the game for California. Osage was only able to get five base runners in the game.
Stock said pitching and defense limited the amount of base runners for their opponents.
The Pintos' next game will be in district play, against the winner of today's game between Calvary Lutheran and Versailles.