The Pitman High varsity softball team continues to thrive.
Three homeruns and a seven-run inning in the fifth gave the Pride a 14-4 mercy-rule victory in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division I tournament against Nevada Union on Thursday and moved the Pride into the double-elimination round.
“They just got some good hits on us early and got up, but our bats came alive quickly,” said Pitman head coach Joe Lewis. “We are not used to somebody else jumping ahead of us in the first inning, but the girls continued to fight.”
Nevada Union took a quick 2-0 lead at the top of the first inning, but then Pitman freshman Morgan Aguiniga stepped to the plate and belted a solo homer to cut the lead at 2-1.
“When I watched the first strike I was nervous but then the next pitch I knew I was going to hit it and then it just went,” said Aguiniga. “We brought the bats today. You could tell. We were ready and we knew what needed to be done and we had the plan in our head.”
This sparked the bats for Pitman and in the second inning senior Spencer Bronken started the five-run rally with a solo homerun and Cady Riley followed with an RBI single before Alexis Mettler ended the task with a three-run homer to finally go up 6-3.
“There is always nerves but you just have to choke it down and keep it subdued and keep your mind clear,” Mettler said. “I was trying not to think about it and not do too much and I tried staying level and drove right through that homerun.”
Mettler was 3-for-4 with four RBI and tossed five innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and struck out four as she picked up her second postseason victory in two years, the most of any Pride pitcher.
But it wasn't a pretty victory for Mettler, who started off rough in the first three innings and allowed the fourth and final run in the fourth inning.
She had to deal with a rainy fifth inning as the showers began to drop heavily but Mettler pitched out of a bases loaded jam to set up her team with the bats in the bottom half.
“I just pitched the best I could and thought good things will happen if I stay within myself,” Mettler said about the drastic weather change.
This set up the Pride for their seventh inning burst, notching up seven runs to secure the win by mercy-rule when the 14th and final run crossed home plate.
As a team, the Pride tallied 13 hits, six of which came in the final inning. All but two of the Pride managed to get at least a hit and every Pride player reached base safely at least once for the game.
Aguiniga, Bronken and Riley were each 2-for-3 with an RBI and Nicole Bailey was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Pride to their 11th win out of their last 12 contests.
“The bats are what is going to do it because we know that we have the pitching and if we hit like this or even half of this then we will go far in the tournament,” Lewis said. “This is another first for us, we never won a game here in Sacramento at the Complex for Sectionals, so it feels good.”
Pitman's next game will be against Franklin of Elk Grove at 9 a.m. today.
“I feel confident and I trust my team 100 percent and I really believe we can go far and go into Monday's game,” Bronken added.