The Pitman High (14-5) softball team continues to win.
After a lengthy three-day weekend tournament in Tracy, the Pride swept through the Diamond Bracket of the Nor Cal Classic Tournament, which consisted of 16 teams and after a bye in the third round, they met Ripon High (15-4) in a championship match up on Saturday afternoon.
Ripon struck first in the bottom of the second then Pitman starter Alexis Mettler pitched five shutout innings and the Pride went on to win, 5-1, to mark their second tournament title of the season.
“I don't think they got one ball out of the infield after the second inning. It was a pretty good game all the way around for us,” said Pitman assistant coach Greg Mettler. “It was awesome to win two tournaments for the first time ever in school history and having all these people notice us, it’s really nice.”
The Pride have now won four straight and six out of their last seven games.
“Our girls — they don't get too high or too low. We are one of the quietest and calmest teams because they never get too upset or hyped up,” said Greg Mettler. “Then again I feel like it can backfire, but the girls have been aggressive on the plate and executing all around and that is why we have a 14-5 record so far.”
Ripon's Taylor Jaquez struck the teams only RBI on a sacrifice in the bottom of the second inning but the offense would stall after Alexis Mettler's arm became the dominating factor of the game.
Mettler struck out seven, allowed only one run on two hits and with the assistance of the steady bats the Pride went on a hitting frenzy.
“We are playing well, not getting lucky. We are earning every victory,” Greg Mettler said. “These girls are starting to get that confidence in them that they can do well and get into the playoffs and so forth.”
Kalina Malech led off in the third with a double and then two outs later the rally began.
Freshman Lehua DeLeon struck her RBI with a hard single to shortstop and Malech scored to tie the game at 1-1.
DeLeon then scored after Alexis Mettler hit an RBI double to go up 2-1 and before the inning ended Alexis Mettler scored on a pass ball and the Pride took a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom half of the third.
“Their pitcher is going to Sacramento State but our girls didn't care,” said Greg Mettler of Ripon starter Danielle Sperry. “When they step on the batter’s box they have been aggressive and have become a better ball team and the girls are hitting with confidence and expecting to get a hit and when you have that, good things happen.”
In all three tournament games, the Pride batters only struck out a combined one time.
The final two runs in the sixth and seventh were tacked on by Malech's RBI single and Morgan Aguniga RBI fielder’s choice that scored Hannah Martel in the seventh and final inning.
Along with the help of the bats, the pitching and defense played just as good as the team committed only one error for the game as opposed to Ripon's three.
Pitman's Alexis Mettler retired the final 15 batters she faced after the second inning
“After that second then they were done. The second was the only time. Their bats stayed silent and owned them on defense and our girls got in a rhythm — lights out pretty much,” said Greg Mettler. “And I don't try to talk about Lexi because it’s not fair to the team but she did great today, really the entire team responded behind her.”
Alexis Mettler and Malech batted 2-for-3 for the game and the game marked Alexis Mettler's seventh consecutive game where she has reached base safely at least once.
With less than one month left of Central California Conference action, the Pride will need to win out in order to stand atop the podium but the task will not be easy as they currently sit in second place behind Merced (6-1) with a 5-3 CCC record.
“I don't think the girls will take it easy or let any game get to their heads because there are no highs or lows,” Mettler said. “We talk about hitting, if we hit then we will win, if we do so then we can be in every game. We won't take it lightly and do the little things right and know the situations and not do too much.”
Seniors Alexis Mettler, Nicole Bailey and Spencer Bronken were name to the All-Tournament team.
Pitman will travel to Buhach Colony High to take on the Thunder at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.