Softball pitcher Denae Finney and her Pitman teammates played a near perfect game on Tuesday afternoon when the Pride hosted El Capitan High in the team’s second Central California Conference contest.
Finney started and tossed a complete game shutout while allowing just a pair of hits and the Pride were able to fend off the Gauchos in a close 1-0 final.
“We knew coming in that we had to play clean, especially against a team with great pitching like that and we did,” said Pitman head coach Joe Lewis. “I feel we can be one of the top teams in league and today showed we can be up there. Hopefully the girls just believe it and hopefully it puts a fire in them.”
“I just really wanted to push through and I wanted to get the win because of that loss to Merced,” said Finney. “I was determined and I really wanted this win coming off that Merced game, it was motivating for me for sure, maybe my teammates as well, but for me I wanted to come out and get the win.”
In Pitman's first CCC battle with Merced back on March 23, the Pride fell 14-8 and it lingered heading into this week. However, the Pride didn't let the loss get to their head, instead, they battled through it and proved what they are capable of doing.
No errors were committed by Pitman in Tuesday's game while the offense tallied five hits altogether.
The most significant hit of the game came from Claire Fountain in the second inning after she drilled an RBI triple to bring in Lehua DeLeon for the only score of the game.
“We knew they had great pitching coming into the game and we had to put the ball in play and the girls did that all game,” said Lewis. “We had somebody in scoring position the whole game and luckily we were able to squeeze that one run which was the difference.”
Finney was also significant after she retired the last seven batters consecutively to end the game.
“Denaes' pitching was huge today,” said Lewis. “She was hitting her spots great and it makes it easier because the fielders can position themselves accordingly so she hit her spots great and the girls played great defense.”
It is also the first of three games for the week after multiple games were canceled last week due to the rain.
Pitman is now 4-4-1 overall and 1-1 in CCC play.
“We had a tough preseason, losing some games in the seventh inning and in later innings but I told them to keep battling,” said Lewis.
DeLeon and Alanah Laupua were 1-for-3 while Finney also finished with a pair of strikeouts from the mound.
“I think we didn't expect to win this one. We were more neutral, just playing softball and having fun,” said Finney. “I think practices are a big deal when going into a game because you want to make sure you have that focus, practice and doing what you need to do and its huge for me.”
Pitman's next game will be on the road against Atwater at 4 p.m. Thursday.