Girls’ softball secures first league win versus Santa Clara


Infield players huddle up after Jamie Dietz ’19 makes the second out of the last inning. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

Nick Zoll

On Tuesday, April 10, the varsity girls’ softball team faced off against the Saints of Santa Clara High School at the Ventura College softball field. Notably, it would be the first league game of the season for the Dragons, as a few rainouts had delayed the start of the 2018 Tri Valley League season. Errors were committed on both sides, but the Dragons were able to capitalize on the Saints’ miscues. Tallying at least one run in all but one inning, Foothill held off the Saints with a final score of 7-3.

After Dragons’ starting pitcher Abby Strong ‘19 pitched a clean first inning, Foothill jumped out to an early lead. An error committed by Santa Clara’s catcher allowed Kat Tafoya ‘19 to reach base while one run scored in the process. Immediately after, teammate Jessica Mendoza ‘18 doubled, allowing Samantha Fenton ‘20 to score from third base. However, Santa Clara was able to knot the score at 2-2 in their half of the second inning, sparked by an error and a pair of baserunners.

Jamie Dietz '19 stands at the ready on second base. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press
Jamie Dietz ’19 stands at the ready on second base. Credit: Olivia Sanford / The Foothill Dragon Press

The scoring resumed in the bottom half of the third inning, as the Dragons regained the lead on an run batted in (RBI) single from Jazmine Razo ‘18. In the fourth inning, Foothill and Santa Clara traded runs which maintained the Dragons’ lead.

The Dragons began to distance themselves in the fifth inning. After Tafoya came on to pitch in relief for Strong, Santa Clara was stifled and left two runners on base at the end of the top of the fifth. The bottom half of the inning for Foothill was highlighted by an RBI single from Taylor Escobar ‘18; one of two runs the Dragons would score in the inning to increase their lead to three runs.

Mendoza was notably inspired by her team’s effort offensively, and she explained the importance of the big fifth inning, saying that “we needed to pick each other up by hitting and keep going with the game.”

“It’s a good feeling to be consistent with the hits,” she said.

For the remainder of the game, Tafoya held the Saints scoreless. Foothill later added one run in the sixth inning as insurance, but it wouldn’t be needed. Tafoya was able to finish the game, preserving a 7-3 win for the Dragons.

Jamie Dietz ‘19 praised her team’s ability to get “early runs” in the ballgame, saying that “it kept the momentum up.”



“[The early runs] made us feel like we could do it and didn’t give up on ourselves on the beginning,” she said. “What we really worked on well was batting baserunners in and not leaving them on base because, you know, that’s how you score runs.”

Concerning the frequent miscues defensively, head coach Jere Dietz explained that “errors are part of the game.”

“You’ve got to take advantage when somebody else is making mistakes,” he said. “They took advantage of a couple of our [errors] but we fought through those.”

Also commenting on the errors, Jamie Dietz expressed the importance of being able to recover in the later stages of the game.

“It was really key for us because we were able to come back from our errors,” she said. “So even if we had an error, we were able to […] come back from that.”

Jere Dietz credited the first league win of the 2018 season to the “great pitching from Abby Strong, Kat Tafoya and Taylor Wreesman catching.”



“That battery really set the stage for us,” Dietz explained.

Other standout performances include Jamie Dietz and Mendoza, who each recorded three hits apiece.

Up next for the Dragons is a road game against La Reina High School on Thursday, April 12. It will mark the second league game for Foothill as they prepare to face the Regents.

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