Lady Heralds keep up the pressure, cruise past Heritage Christian
by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal
The Whittier Christian softball team jumped out to a huge lead in the first inning and never looked back in an 18-2 mercy-rule victory over Heritage Christian, Tuesday afternoon at home.
The Lady Heralds piled up 15 hits to keep the pressure on Heritage Christian pitcher Kristine Varon.
“When they play their game, that’s what they’re capable of doing,” said Dale Van Duyn, Whittier Christian head coach.
On a windy afternoon, fly balls were unpredictable and pitch control was a challenge.
The big difference between the two pitchers was Hannah Gabriel’s pitch velocity, which allowed her to still control her pitches against the wind.
The Lady Heralds have been focused on stacking up base hits, so the wind forced them to keep balls low.
“(We) focused on swinging the stick, not hitting the ball in the air,” Van Duyn said, “(The wind) made them realize they had to keep it down, it helped me push the base hit.”
Gabriel drove in two runs to give her team a three run lead as part of an eight-run first inning.
In addition to swinging the sticks, the girls took advantage of their base running ability and moved base-to-base with ease.
In the bottom of the third inning, up 8-1, Mackenzie Lou laid down a perfect bunt. She easily beat the throw. Lou later reached third base after a pair of wild pitches.
Cami McLean drew a walk, but rather than walking to first, she sprinted to first and went halfway between first and second. When the Warriors realized she was trying to steal second, Lou began to steal home. The second baseman threw over to push Lou back to third base while McLean took second base.
Melissa Martene bounced a single to right field, which was misplayed and bounced all the way to the wall. The speedy shortstop rounded first focused on going all the way home. Martene had no trouble scoring on the error to clear the bases.
Up 11-1, Celeste Adriano picked up one of four singles on a perfect day at the plate. Katelyn Wagner singled and came around to score on a single from Morgan Ryan, which was similar to the one which scored Martene and allowed her to reach second, bringing the score to 13-1. McLean added a two-RBI single later in the inning to push the run total to 16 after three innings.
The Heralds added two more runs as part of an 18-2 victory in five innings.
Whittier Christian will have a week off before taking on a big challenge next week in Valley Christian on the road, Tuesday afternoon. The Lady Crusaders bested Whittier Christian 10-2 earlier this season.