The California softball team won its sixth game in a row Sept. 9 as the Lady Pintos defeated the St. Elizabeth Hornets 5-1. The Pintos improve to 6-0 on the season with the win.
The Pintos got on the board first, in the bottom of the first inning, as Lauren Hill scored a run on a base hit and ended up on third thanks to a Hornets error. Two batters later, Hill would score after Ella Percival got the ball in play and another error by St. Elizabeth allowed Hill to cross home plate to take a 2-0 lead. California would have runners on second and third with no outs but would not be able to add to their lead thanks to three straight outs including a strike out, throw out double play at third to end the inning.
The Pintos would add one run to their lead in the second inning as Macee Johnson would lead off the bottom half of the inning with a double. Johnson would score when Sydney Percival hit into a ground out, and St. Elizabeth's first baseman tried to throw to third base as Johnson advanced. The ball would get past third, and Johnson went home as the throw to the plate went over the catcher's head to make it a 3-0 game.
St. Elizabeth would get on the board in the top of the third inning to make it a 3-1 game. Head coach Steven Stock said this was the first run that pitcher Camryn Schlup has allowed all season. Schlup had a strong game pitching wise, as St. Elizabeth scored that one run on only three hits in the game. Schlup struck out 12 batters for California, and struck out the side in order in the top of the fifth inning.
Having a strong pitcher on the team can help keep the team in most games.
"When you can throw someone like (Schlup) on the mound, she is a heck of a thrower and throws the ball really well, but more than that she is a competitor," Stock said. "It is pretty easy to know you are going to be in the game, when your defense plays behind you and the girls are getting more confident. I am glad she is on our side."
Neither team was able to score again until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Pintos added two runs to their lead. After a walk early in the inning, Kaylena Riggs hit a double to give the Pintos runners on second and third with no outs. Two batters later, Lauren Spillars drove in a run with a base hit to make it 4-1 and back-to-back walks by Lauren Hill and Schlup would score one more run to give the Pintos a comfortable lead.
The Hornets would get one hit in the top of the seventh inning but would not be able to do anything to get back into the game.
The Pintos were aggressive in their base running in the game. Stock said that the team had to make some things happen in the game.
"Well, early we were kind of flat," Stock said. "We were coming off a pretty good weekend with the tournament and (during this game) I think we were down as far as energy. So in my mind we talked about we may have to make some things happen. So, we did and sometimes that works in your favor and sometimes it doesn't. All in all, we try to make people make the play because in high school ball a lot of times they don't."