After a tight 3-2 loss last Friday to the first place Gregori High Jaguars, the Pitman High varsity softball team is back in the win column after taking down the Knights of Downey High on Tuesday afternoon by a score of 17-6 in six innings. Because of the scoring frenzy, the game lasted almost 2 and a half hours.
Long games may be something Pitman High players, fans and campus community members may need to get used to, as this was the fourth time that the Pride offense has scored more than 10 runs in a game.
At the top of the Pride lineup is senior Lacie Nycum, who set the tone for her teammates with five hits throughout the game, three of those igniting rallies. Nycum, who partially tore her ACL last July, explained that she felt great playing, and the results backed it up. She led off the game with a double, in what would be the first of four extra base knocks. She would end up scoring three times and driving in two more runs.
“I felt really confident in myself and just thought, ‘If I start the rally, the rally will keep going,’” Nycum said.
One of Nycum’s teammates who filled the stat sheet and contributed to multiple rallies was UCLA-bound senior Addie Mettler, who slapped two base hits, walked twice and smashed a two-run home run to right center field in the third inning, her fourth home run of the season. Junior Ella Underwood also pitched in with three doubles and three RBI while freshman Ivy Butler drove in three runs with a triple and double.
Although the Pride ended with a 10-run ruling the Knights, they faced an early 2-0 deficit through the first inning due to a fielding error and three straight hits by the opposing offense. Nevertheless, starting pitcher Gaby Pacheco was able to settle things down enroute to a complete game, five strikeout performance.
“She’s been real solid all year,” said Pitman head coach Joe Lewis. “We’ve had some games with errors and giving up runs we shouldn’t have, and she stays solid through all of it.”
Nycum shared similar sentiments regarding the team as a whole.
“We just need to be confident ourselves and we cannot get down after we make a mistake,” she said. “Winning feels great for us because we’re developing.”
With Tuesday’s win, the Pride improve their Central California Athletic League record to 3-3 and their overall season record to 4-4, catapulting them to third place in the standings as of Wednesday. Additionally, the Pride secured a season series victory over the Knights after previously beating them 15-5 on March 16.
“It just felt good, we had a couple tough games with Turlock and Gregori, but I’ve told the girls all season, we play each team three times, we have to win the series if we want to make playoffs, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Lewis said.
The Pride will have a golden opportunity to make up ground in the CCAL standings when they take on Gregori for the second of three times this season. The Jaguars are 4-1 on the year.
Thursday’s game will take place in Modesto at the Gregori High campus, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.