An old-fashioned duel

Gilroy hurler Sarah Villar was Reeder’s match through nine,

Gilroy
– Gilroy pitcher Sarah Villar described the Mustangs’ 10-inning
4-0 loss at home to TCAL rival Notre Dame best.

It was one of those games where it’s a loss, but we’d be
satisfied with how we played, whether we lost or won,

said the junior hurler, who battled all 10 innings of the
nail-biter, striking out seven and scattering seven hits.
Gilroy – Gilroy pitcher Sarah Villar described the Mustangs’ 10-inning 4-0 loss at home to TCAL rival Notre Dame best.

“It was one of those games where it’s a loss, but we’d be satisfied with how we played, whether we lost or won,” said the junior hurler, who battled all 10 innings of the nail-biter, striking out seven and scattering seven hits.

Why such satisfaction? Because it was “one of the best games we’ve ever played,” Villar said.

“This is the level of play we’ve wanted,” added Gilroy coach Julie Berggren.

Although the Mustangs (7-4 overall, 0-1 in TCAL) didn’t come away victorious, they did hold the top-ranked and undefeated Spirits, armed with Ohio State-bound pitcher Kim Reeder on the mound, scoreless through nine innings.

“We played great defense today,” said Gilroy head coach Julie Berggren, whose team made just two errors in the game. “And this was the game I’d been waiting to see Villar pitch, to see how she’d do and she did well. She threw hard.”

Villar (4-4) credited her solid 10-inning performance to her pre-game preparation.

“They’re a really good team,” she said. “But before the game, me and (catcher Brittany Balanesi) were just kickin’ back and having fun, which made everyone relax.”

Notre Dame, which Berggren said is ranked No. 15 in the nation, couldn’t quite get a handle on Villar until the top of the 10th inning.

With one out and a runner on second, Notre Dame’s Theresa Carlinale ripped a double down the third base line, which broke the stalemate and put Notre Dame up 1-0. Brianna Babcock followed with a bunt, which Gilroy’s Balanesi fielded and overthrew to first. Babcock was safe, and another Notre Dame run scored from second base. Lauren Shutzler and Bri Cureton followed with a bunt single and a base hit to load the bases. Tasha Stokes drove two of those baserunners in before the Mustangs got out of the inning.

Reeder (22 strikeouts), who threw a one-hitter to remain undefeated, struck out Yolanda Esquivel, Erin Magill and Balanesi in the bottom of the 10th to secure the 4-0 win for the Spirits.

“(Reeder) is fast, and she’s got good movement,” Villar said.

Berggren would have liked to see a better performance from the Mustangs at the plate.

“Offensively, it’s not exactly what we wanted,” Berggren said. “But we came out and swung the bats, took good cuts. It’ll come around. (Reeder) is the best pitcher we’re going to face (in TCAL).”

Russhelle Preeshl had the lone hit for Gilroy, a single in the fifth inning.

Box Score

R H E

GIL 000 000 000 0 0 1 2

ND 000 000 000 4 4 7 1

WP – Reeder (22 K’s, 1 hit)

LP – Villar (7 K’s, 7 hits)

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