Wildcat News

Softball pitches first win

Sophomore+Kendall+Blow+pitches+in+the+Wildcat%E2%80%99s+home+game+against+the+Westchester+Comets+on+Monday%2C+March+23.+Uni%E2%80%99s+girls+won+with+a+score+of+10-9+after+a+game-winning+homerun.+This+was+the+team%E2%80%99s+first+win+this+season.
Sophomore Kendall Blow pitches in the Wildcat’s home game against the Westchester Comets on Monday, March 23. Uni’s girls won with a score of 10-9 after a game-winning homerun. This was the team’s first win this season.

Sophomore Kendall Blow pitches in the Wildcat’s home game against the Westchester Comets on Monday, March 23. Uni’s girls won with a score of 10-9 after a game-winning homerun. This was the team’s first win this season.

Brandon Berookhim

Brandon Berookhim

Sophomore Kendall Blow pitches in the Wildcat’s home game against the Westchester Comets on Monday, March 23. Uni’s girls won with a score of 10-9 after a game-winning homerun. This was the team’s first win this season.

Brandon Berookhim, Sports Editor

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Softball’s 2015 spring season got off to a rough start. A lead-off preseason 15-run shutout loss to North Hollywood on Feb. 25 was followed by a King Drew 25-3 drubbing. Things did not get any better as the regular season began, with a 21-2 loss to Hamilton, and then another shutout loss, this one to Venice by a whopping 25 runs.

The team may be struggling, perhaps from a lack of leadership. There is only one returning senior varsity player, Ayres Harrison, left fielder, and just five returning players total.

The rest of the team’s eight players are fresh faces. In addition, sophomore Yisel Salazar, second baseman, is out for five weeks with a fractured ankle.

The girls were eager to break their four-game losing streak in their Monday, March 23 home game against Westchester (2-6 overall, 0-1 league).

“This game we had a lot of chemistry because we all shared a common goal of bringing home a win,” sophomore Carolina Castro, center fielder, said.

Following in early season form, though, the girls started the game off poorly, down four runs in the second inning. Sophomore pitcher Kendall Blow kept the Wildcats in the game. After shutting down the Comets in the third inning, Uni proceeded to tally five runs.

The two teams seesawed for the next two innings until the Comets rallied for three runs in the sixth. Westchester maintained their lead the rest of the way. Going into last at bat, Uni trailed 9-8.

Uni was down to their last out when Senior Adriana Varguez, designated hitter, singled and then stole a base. Junior Christiana Rodgers, shortstop, stepped up to bat with the game on the line.

Coach Frank De La Cruz, who was the assistant coach from 2003 to 2006, took over as head coach in 2008. He believes the crowd in attendance on Monday played a notable role in the girls’ performances.

“The crowd was cheering on the team and the the girls reacted to the encouragement,” De La Cruz said. “Rather than the crowd contributing pressure, they encouraged the athletes.”

Rodgers smashed a game-winning homerun, bringing the score to 10-9, and giving Uni its first win of the season.

Uni’s next game is on Tuesday, April 7, not for two weeks, due to an odd number of teams competing in the Western league. The Wildcats (1-4 overall, 1-2 league) will be playing Fairfax (3-7, 0-3), at the Lions’ home at 3 p.m. The girls’ next home game is on Tuesday, April 14, against the Palisades Dolphins (3-5, 2-0) at 3 p.m.

“Come out and support the girls again!” De La Cruz said.

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Softball pitches first win