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Pride softball expecting big things, despite slow start
Pitman's Denae Finney pitches for the Pride. Finney and Alanah Laupua have been splitting time on the pitchers mound for the Pride this season. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The Pitman varsity softball team has the talent to be undefeated this season, according to head coach Joe Lewis, but instead the Pride are 1-2 after a seventh inning collapse in Monday's 9-4 loss to Manteca High.

“That's two games in a row in the seventh we have lost. We should be 3-0 and it’s frustrating but it builds character and hopefully we fight back,” said Lewis.

Last Thursday, Pitman blew a 3-2 lead in the seventh and final inning at the hands of Beyer from Modesto.

Two errors led to a pair of runs to come across for the Patriots, who survived at home against the Pride.

The Pride came out on a mission in Monday's game and led 4-3 with just three outs to go.

However, the tables turned after one error led to three total for the inning alone as Manteca added six runs.

“It opened the door for them,” said Lewis. “It snowballed after the missed fly ball. I can't believe it. They only had two hits in the seventh and a walk and errors accounted for the rest.”

Pitman juniors Lehua DeLeon and Holland Henson each scored a run for the game while Morgan Aguiniga added two. Claire Fountain was 2-for-3 with three of the four RBI.

Senior Alanah Laupua added an RBI for the game.

“We also struck out eight times, which is rare with us,” said Lewis. “That is not the norm for us. We haven't had much time on the field because of the weather, we had one full day to practice before the Modesto High game and since then we are catching up on playing together.”

Pitman has also outscored opponents after three games 17-15, but will have to continue to rely on their offense to keep them in games as well as lean towards their senior pitchers in Denae Finney and Laupua, who have already pitched all three games combined.

“Denae Finney should pitch a lot, but I’ve been splitting last two games and put Alanah in to pitch as well, she came in the sixth and against Beyer,” said Lewis.

The Pride should expect some strong play from the infield after they return three of four.

Pitman kicked off the season on a high note, sweeping Modesto 10-2 on Feb. 28.

Pitman went 10-15 overall last year and 5-10 in the CCC and clinched a postseason berth, but lost to Rocklin 10-0 in the opening round of the Division-II Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament.

This year, the team is aiming for more and they are capable of doing so, said Lewis.