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Pitman softball starts 2-0 in Nor Cal Classic
Pitman softball 6
Pitman's Alexis Mettler (seen here throwing during a league game against Buhach Colony in March) pitched a complete game shutout in the Pride's first Nor Cal Classic opponent on Thursday, while also going 3-for-3 at bat with three runs scored and an RBI. - photo by Journal file photo

Pitman High's softball team is currently competing in the Northern California Classic Tournament in Tracy, and as of Friday, the Pride are a perfect 2-0 after sweeping through Santa Teresa and Los Banos in their opening games.

With over 48 high school teams from all over California stacked up in three brackets, this three-day event that began Thursday and concludes today, guarantees every team will play at least four games.

“This is one of the biggest tournaments in the state,” said Pitman assistant head coach Greg Mettler. “So far these girls have been hitting the snot out of the ball. Basically, nobody has struck out even once in the first two games if that tells you anything.”

In the first game against Santa Teresa, the Pride looked to show off their improved offense, which had been working with the bats exclusively earlier in the week.

They had no trouble getting the bats rolling as they came out firing away in the first inning, taking a quick 5-0 lead after the end of the first inning.

Lehua DeLeon led off with a walk and two batters later, Nicole Bailey loaded up the bases for senior Spencer Bronken who then smacked a two-run single which was followed by a Michelle Robinson two-run triple to take the 4-0 lead.

Kalina Malech hit an RBI sac-fly for the final run of the inning and the Pride went on to shutout the Saints of Santa Teresa, 9-0.

“Honestly, with the way we were hitting I was so happy,” said Mettler. “They are not a bad team but we handled them for the most part because they didn't pound it and our girls were hitting the ball. We worked on hitting before the tournament and it worked out being aggressive like we were.”

Starting pitcher Alexis Mettler allowed only three hits, walked three and struck out four as she tossed a complete game shutout for the second time this season.

Mettler also went a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. Bailey and Morgan Aguiniga each batted .500 and combined for three RBI in the first game.

“First game the girls were being aggressive and not waiting for pitches and they were jumping on first pitches and driving it,” Greg Mettler said. “The girls that don't hit hard they were putting the ball in play today.”

In the second contest against Los Banos, the Pride made the game a bit more interesting, as they allowed the Tigers to score five runs, four of which were unearned but Pitman still picked up the 9-5 win.

Starting pitcher Mettler had a no hitter through the fourth inning and into the fifth but still ended up picking up the win after tossing a complete game and allowed only one earned run on three hits and struck out four.

“It was an interesting game,” said Greg Mettler. “I told every girl that they need to find the gaps and hit the ball like that and it makes you happy because eventually it will work out.”

It worked out in their favor as the Pride went on an offensive rampage, scoring in five of the seven innings.

The first two runs for the Pride came in the first inning after Michelle Robinson slammed a two-run single to drive in Bailey and Aguiniga to take the 2-0 lead.

The Pride hit .433 (13-for-30) for the game, Robinson finished with three of the team's hits and tallied three RBI for the game.

After the game, starting pitcher Alexis Mettler also became the all time wins leader for Pitman with 37.

“Hitting is as much a mental approach as physical and it's amazing when you take that confident approach and it was nice to see from the girls, they put solid contact on it,” Greg Mettler added. “Top to bottom all of our starters ended up on base occasionally and some multiple times; good things happened.”

Pitman was scheduled to take on Santa Catalina High today but the team had to forfeit so the Pride will get the bye and play in a championship game against an opponent yet to be determined at 3 p.m. at the Tracy Sports Complex.