After falling behind early in the game, the varsity girls’ softball team came out in full force during the bottom of the fifth inning when Taylor Escobar ‘19 hit a home run, scoring the second run for the Dragons and bringing excitement and hope to the team. However, despite the team’s efforts, they were defeated by Santa Clara High School 3-5.
“They played well but I feel like we got a slow start,” Coach Priscilla Rouse Becker said. “I think it took us a few innings to get into the game.”
Kat Tafoya ‘19 threw the first pitch, signaling the start of the first inning. She started the team off strong by making the first out of the game. However, the team struggled throughout the top of the first inning and three runs were scored by Santa Clara.
Jamie Dietz ‘19, the first batter for the Dragons, hit a single to start out the bottom of the second inning. After Cydnie Gutierrez ‘19 struck out, Tafoya was up next and drew a walk. With only Tafoya on base, the next two batters struck out, bringing the first inning to a close with the Dragons down 0-3.
Pitcher Teagan Costa ’17 threw the ball and the second inning was off. With Dietz fielding a groundball and passing it off to Jade Iannacone ‘18, the batter was tagged out at first base. The inning continued with Costa catching a pop up, leading to the team’s second out. A third player was tagged out by Dietz, closing the top of the second inning. The Dragons struggled throughout the bottom half of the inning with one player pooped out and two players getting tagged out.
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Since Foothill beat Santa Clara twice during the 2016 season, Rouse Becker believes that the team underestimated their competition during the first portion of the game. She believes that the team was not mentally prepared and needs to improve on that in order to be successful throughout the season.
“We need to be better at getting ready for every game by the time that the first pitch is pitched,” she said. “We can’t take any team for granted and we need to be ready to go every game. So pregame preparation is something we need to work on.
The third inning consisted of two players striking out and the third hitting a pop up straight to Costa who caught the ball, forcing the third out. The Dragons then hit a pop up which was caught and had two player strike out, ending the third inning with zero runs but with an overall score of 0-3.
Taylor Wreesman ‘18 also believes that the team underestimated their opponents. She thinks that if the team wants to develop and progress, they need to stay focused and play game by game, giving it their all at every moment.
“Every game is a game that you need to win and like you might not have the chance to win so you come out strong and hard at the beginning,” she said.
With another pitch from Costa during the top of the first inning, the batter hit a pop up and was called out when the ball was caught by Dietz. The inning continued with the second batter striking out and the third being tagged out by Jessica Mendoza ‘18.
After the first batter was tagged out during the bottom of the fourth inning, Abby Strong ‘19 hit a single. Mendoza then hit a double, sending Strong to third base. Although Tafoya was tagged out, she was able to send Strong home to obtain Foothill’s first run of the game.
The Dragons dominated the fifth inning. Costa pitched and all three players struck out. However, when the Dragons were at bat, Escobar hit a home run. Escobar and her teammates cheered and celebrated as the ball flew over the fence, securing Escobar a run home.
“That felt actually pretty good,” Escobar said after hitting the ball over the fence for the first time. She remarked that it was “fun” because she knew she did well but that it also got the team “hyped up.”
Costa fielded the ball and threw it to Iannacone who tagged the first batter of the sixth inning out. Gutierrez then tagged a second out. After pitching the ball, Costa slid to obtain the ground ball, keeping the ball in the field and allowing the batter to only reach first base. However, two runs were made before Strong was able to tag a third player out.
Mendoza was up to bat first and hit a single into center field. Although her teammate was tagged out, she made it to second base. However, the next two batters struck out.
After Costa threw the first pitch of the top of the first inning, Mendoza subbed in for her. Mendoza pitched the ball to the batter but the batter was tagged out after Gutierrez fielded the ball and threw it to Dietz. Dietz later caught a pop up, sending a second player out and the following batter quickly struck out.
Dietz was the first batter of the bottom of the final inning, hitting a triple. As Gutierrez got up to bat, she was tagged out. However, her hit was able to bring Dietz home for the Dragon’s second run of the game. Two Dragons then struck out, bringing the game to a close.
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Despite the 2-5 loss, Rouse Becker felt that the girls played a good game. She said that once the team started to play hard, “we got some great hits, we had a nice home run over the fence, we had some really strong line drives into the outfield.”
“We’ve got some hitters that are really hitting the ball well, they’re on fire,” she continued. “We did get in the game and our energy level went up and that was good. […] I just wish that we would have done that from the beginning.”
According to Rouse Becker, the team’s main goal is to be competitive in league and to secure a spot in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs. She believes her team can go far if they continue to put in effort and time.
“I’m looking forward to a lot of progress and a lot of growth from these girls and hopefully some exciting things toward the end of the season,” she said.