Lauren Castro struck out five, walked three and surrendered just one hit in anchoring the Gilroy High softball team’s 1-0 victory over Capuchino in nonleague action Tuesday in Gilroy. Not too shabby for her high school debut.
The freshman got the call for the Mustangs’ season opener, and after walking a pair in the top of the first inning and allowing the lone hit in the second, she found her groove the rest of the way to book the complete game shutout.
“Actually I was really nervous, but after a couple innings I found my place,” Castro said. “I think it was the environment that made me nervous, so I just tried to tune everything else out and think of it as any other game.”
Castro will split time in the circle this season with returning sophomore Holly Lam.
After facing nine batters through the first two innings, Castro dealt to 19 over the next five frames, retiring Capuchino hitters in order in two of those.
Capuchino’s Gabby Tudury was equally stifling in the circle, striking out eight in six innings.
Junior Kaylana Mah drove in Gilroy’s run with an RBI-double in the bottom of the first, plating senior Casey Lester, who led off the game with a single.
Castro, backed by her supporting cast in the field, preserved the lead from there. The Mustangs infield of Mah at short stop, junior Celeste Mendoza at second base, junior Adriana Ortega at third and senior Shawnte Garcia at first combined for a .944 fielding percentage.
“We’ve always had solid defense,” Lester said. “But our bats are going to come around. We may not be that home run hitting team, but we are going to hit the gaps and make the pitchers make mistakes.”
Lester had the Mustangs only other hit – a sixth inning double – to complete a 2-for-3 afternoon.
“We’ve been hitting great in practice. I hate to say first-game jitters, but possibly. Especially with a lot of first year varsity players out there,” GHS manager Julie Berggren said. “Overall, we weren’t undisciplined up to bat, which is something that would scare me more. So, I’m not worried.”
Six Mustangs made their first career varsity starts Tuesday.
Gilroy begins play at the annual Annie Lynch Memorial Circle of Champions Tournament in Salinas on Saturday.