Senior Night sorrow: Dragons sustain 9-1 loss against Santa Clara


Kami Kada

Jasmine Guzman ’23 and Celia Porazzo ’22 play “rock paper scissors” as Porazzo is celebrated by teammates on senior night.

Chloe Scofield, Reporter

Foothill Technology High School’s (Foothill Tech) home away from home, Ventura College, housed a rough Senior Night for the Dragons’ varsity softball team. On the bright afternoon of April 26, the team celebrated their six graduating players in a final home game against the Santa Clara High School (Santa Clara) Saints. 

All six seniors had individual posters hoisted onto the backstop detailing their names: Jasmine Smith, Ahniyah Bennett, Celia Porrazzo, Maddy Huovinen, Natalie Nunes and Brianna Franco. The excitement of all the players was tangible as they engaged in some pregame rituals to get ready for the match-up.

The Dragons began in the field at the top of the first inning. Danielle Bishop ‘23 started Foothill Tech on the pitcher’s mound, focusing all her energy into her arm. The first Santa Clara batter hit a single to land herself on base, and advanced all the way home on an error from the Dragons infield on the next at-bat, giving the Saints an early lead of 1-0. 

Number 27, Danielle Bishop ’23 winds up to throw her opponent a fast pitch in hopes of striking her out. (Kami Kada)

After a few outs pitched by Bishop, the Dragons finished their defense with Franco catching a long hit, allowing them to finish the top of the first.

Foothill Tech’s offense started slow with two strikeouts from the get-go. Pitcher Bishop finally broke the streak, hitting a beautiful single, and advancing further around the bases after a fumbled pitch. Nunes endured this fumble along with more than seven pitches before she got her fourth ball and walked to first base. The first inning ended with an out from Guzman.

At the top of the second Bishop struggled to find the strike zone and walked the leadoff batter for Santa Clara, who was promptly thrown out by a calculated pick-off from Porrazzo. Bishop walked another which then propelled to a run after the following Santa Clara player hit a deep fly into the outfield. Capitalizing on their occupied bases, the Saint at-bat got another hit that knocked in their runner, which brought the score to 3-0 in Santa Clara’s favor.

Two more consecutive runs from Santa Clara left the Dragons hungry for the end of the half inning. Finally catching an out, the top of the second ended at 5-0.

The bottom of the second did not bode better for the Dragons. Huovinen snagged a single to lead off, but after two strikeouts, Foothill Tech could not recover and surrendered the second inning to the Saints.

The top of the third started slow for Santa Clara, as they barely got a few singles before Bishop struck out a Saint. Franco once again caught an out before the Dragons’ opponents began to turn up the heat again. A long hit gave Santa Clara another run, and ended with both second and third base loaded. A critical swing brought in the two Saints on base before the Dragons could stop this successful momentum. The half inning ended at 8-0.

Number 1, Maddy Huovinen ’22 swings hard and makes contact with the ball in an attempt to get a base hit. (Kami Kada)

Beginning on a good foot, Lauren Fossati ‘25 led off the bottom of the inning by taking first base. This was an effort quickly squashed by the opposition, as the Saints caught three consecutive fly outs, shutting down the Dragon’s offense.

The fourth inning introduced Nunes onto the pitcher’s mound as the Dragons warmed up in the field. She started with pitching four balls, giving the offense a free walk to first base. It was the Dragon defense, however, that quickly ended the top of the inning, after catching three outs in a row.

Jasmine Guzman ‘23 gave the Dragons a single as she began the bottom of the fourth with a bang. She continued to progress on the bases as her teammates were simultaneously hitting into outs. It looked like she might take a run home when a Saint outfielder ended the inning.

The Dragon outfielders were eager to catch some outs, none more so than Bishop and Huovinen, who collided in the quest to catch the first batter’s fly ball. Huovinen ended up snagging the out, as Bishop recovered from the crash. Guzman was also on her toes and fielded a ground ball from the second batter, tagging first before the Santa Clara player could even run.

Following another Saint single, Santa Clara hit a monstrous bomb that added to their score of 9-0, before the Dragons could end the top of the fifth by catching a line drive.

The bottom of the fifth drew strong defense from the Saints, with Franco being the only Dragon on the bases while her teammates suffered several caught outs from their opposition. 

The Dragon defense maintained strength. More quick reflexes from Guzman and Huovinen made the Dragons’ defensive efforts stand out. After giving up a single, Nunes caught a fireball of a line drive that came right back to her from the batter, swiftly ending the top of the sixth.

Santa Clara answered right back with ferocious defense of their own. Foothill Tech only got through three batters before the end of the inning, due to the seemingly magnetic nature of the Saints’ gloves. 

Beginning the final inning of the game, Nunes’s pitches gave Santa Clara two contacts that were shut down with a clean catch from Linda Manzo ‘23 and yet another speedy throw to first base from Guzman. Santa Clara managed to get a player on third base, but Guzman once again escaped the jam by sliding the ball to the Dragon’s first baseman. 

The final inning began with a new Santa Clara pitcher, and several Dragon players ready to score. Porrazzo made her mark on the field early, gaining bases throughout the half inning. Another single from Isabella Rodriguez ‘24 put more Foothill Tech players on the bases amidst the Saints’ white jerseys. Fossati stepped up to the plate and landed a double that sent Porazzo home to give the Dragons a point on the scoreboard at 9-1. The celebration was maintained even through a double-out play from the Saints, effectively ending the game.



When asked about improvements to be made to the team’s gameplay, Huovinen said, “Definitely our hitting, you know? Just like urgency, getting to the ball as quickly as possible, but other than that I think we’re pretty good.”

“I think that we came in expecting to lose, which sounds bad, but we knew we should just have fun. That’s what mattered the most I think because we wanted the seniors to enjoy it more than just be worried about the score, and I think that helped us towards the end,” said Guzman.



After the loss, the girls remained cheerful, as their Senior Night festivities could finally commence. After giving flowers to the four seniors on Santa Clara, all the Foothill Tech Seniors were given gifts from their coach and took pictures with their families. 

After discovering their entry into the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs, Head Coach Mark Young said, “Just getting there has been a wonderful accomplishment, so I don’t want…I don’t want the girls to feel too much pressure. First time we’ve been in the playoffs in multiple years and so just being there, I want them to soak it in and just enjoy it, and a win would be a bonus we’d love to have, but most importantly it’s just: go out there and have the experience.”


The Dragons will soon enter CIF playoffs for the first time in several years. Games are still to be determined.

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