SOFTBALL: Lady Mustangs hold off Presentation, 3-1

Alissa Castro tries to get Presentation's Ashley Lowenstein out

GILROY – Junior pitcher Sarah Lira struck out three in a
complete-game effort, the Lady Mustangs’ bats came through in the
clutch and the defense stood sturdy as the Gilroy High softball
team sent off visiting Presentation in a tight 3-1 victory
Thursday.
GILROY – Junior pitcher Sarah Lira struck out three in a complete-game effort, the Lady Mustangs’ bats came through in the clutch and the defense stood sturdy as the Gilroy High softball team sent off visiting Presentation in a tight 3-1 victory Thursday.

The nearly flawless performance gave the young Lady Mustangs, who only have only senior, their second triumph of the week after beating Monta Vista-Cupertino 7-0 on Tuesday.

“The freshmen definitely stepped up and came through, which was really nice to see,” said manager Julie Berggren, who is back with the team for her second stint. “The freshmen we have on the team this year have incredible composure. They have played a lot of ball.”

Two of the first-year members played a big role in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Deadlocked 1-1 in a pitchers duel, the Lady Mustangs (2-0), who hadn’t made much noise at the plate to that point in the contest, came to bat in that bottom of the sixth inning and proceeded to send eight batters to the box, manufacturing two runs out of it.

A Lindsay Holt walk followed by a freshman Amber Gamboa single to left and a Dani Hemeon bunt that gave the Panthers’ third baseman fits, filled the bases for another freshman, Kaylana Mah.

Pinch hitting, Mah battled through a seven-pitch at-bat to draw the RBI-walk to bring in the game winner.

“She had a great battle and that walk was huge,” Berggren said.

The Lady Mustangs tacked on another run after senior Alissa Castro hit a sharp grounder to the Panthers’ (3-3-1) shortstop who bobbled it allowing everyone to advance, including Gamboa to score.

Lira finished off the situation in the top of the seventh to secure the win.

“(Catcher Melanie Morales) called a good game,” Lira said. “I like the pressure games. Those are the funnest. I have a lot of confidence in our team. We play really good defense and when our bats come alive, they come alive good.”

The Panthers scored their lone run in the top of the second inning on a RBI-single by Ashley Lowenstein. The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the third when Morales drove in Casey Lester, who executed a perfect-placed bunt single earlier in the inning.

“Our bats definitely weren’t awake at the beginning of the game,” Berggren said. “But they came awake in that sixth inning and that’s when it counted.”

The Lady Mustangs face another early non-league test today when the always consistent Archbishop Mitty Monarchs visit GHS.

“Win or lose, it’s going to be a really good experience for these girls,” Berggren said. “I’m looking for a competitive game. I want us to be in it the whole game. This team is not intimidated.”

First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

“I’m so excited, especially after these two wins,” Lira said. “We haven’t beat them in a while so I guess we are ready to take care of business.”

GHS will play another two games on Saturday as part of the Circle of Champions Tournament in Salinas.

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