Delhi High junior pitcher, Alyssa Stockton added more stats to her already young, yet impressive career thus far, after striking out 20 in a ten-inning, 4-3 win against Ripon Christian at home Monday.
Coming off a one-run loss to first place Waterford in Friday’s Southern Athletic League contest, the Delhi Hawks returned to actions on Monday in another SAL clash against the Knights and it was Stockton who would score in the bottom of the tenth after an error by third basemen Brianna De Jong.
“This game we didn’t expect them [RC] to come out and play as hard as they did and our team picked it up at the end of the game and got us through and I am super proud of everyone, just scared for our next practice,” said Stockton who picked her up sixth win of the season.
After the critical win, the Hawks stand in third place in league with five games left at 7-3 and have allowed the second least amount of runs (20) behind Waterford’s 17.
“Who wants to go extra innings? We missed our number one hitter today due to the flu, it kind of hurt us in a way, but also proved that we can win without the big hits especially the bunt and run game. I love it, still love that approach, makes it exciting,” Delhi head coach Tami Tela said.
The Delhi Hawks have pulled away with three wins in their last four games.
Delhi was able to break the game open after the first when Rocio Aguilar scored after a De Jong error at third.
RC retaliated in the top of the third to make it 1-1 then in the bottom of the inning, Stockton scored after a Veronica Cruz RBI sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth.
The Knights picked it up in the fifth to tie it at two each and in the bottom of the inning, Stockton was left in scoring position after Diamond Orozco struck out to end the threat followed by the same situation but with bases loaded in the sixth as the Knights Shelby Vrieling would get the strike out to end it.
Stockton controlled the game from the mound till the tenth inning when RCs De Jong smacked an RBI single to drive in Jessica Orozco to take the 3-2 lead.
The Hawks managed to rally in the bottom of the tenth with one out as Aguilar laid down a perfect RBI sacrifice bunt to tie it at three apiece.
This would be followed by game scoring run from Stockton after De Jong would mishandle a routine ground ball to her, but luckily Veronica Cruz would grab the walk-off sacrifice RBI and give her team their eighth win of the season to be at .500 again with an 8-8 overall posting thus far.
“Out of all teams, like I said from the beginning, there will be the underdog teams who might surprise some people and RC is one of them, they play good defense. We didn’t hit too well but at the right times. We must hit earlier, not late in the game,” Tela said about their late game rally. This team shocks me sometimes because they do not give up.”
Stockton was sensational from the mound as she averaged two strikeouts per inning in ten innings of work. She allowed eight hits and two earned runs along with a 3-for-5 day from the plate.
“It was really hot outside so going on the mound I was kind of drained but I feel when I snap harder it comes out better so I focused on my snaps and in the middle of the game I kind of lagged on that a little bit but towards the end I feel like I really picked it up,” Stockton said about her 20 strikeouts performance.
“What can you say? A lot of times she underestimates herself. She learned she just needs to throw strikes and let her team do the rest of the work. Not only is she a team player but is also probably the nicest girl on the team as far as heart and overall and sometimes it doesn’t always go her way but it did today especially after that game against Waterford,” said Tela about Stockton’s win.
The Hawks of Delhi will square off with the fifth place Redskins of Gustine with back-to-back games in a doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gustine.
“We just need to go out and expect to see the best from our opponents. We must come out harder and more focused and we need to be the better team to get on top. It really comes down to who wins what games and who does better because it is a difficult league this year,” Stockton added.