SOFTBALL: Cougars thump Bulldogs, 7-1

Christopher's Mariah Martinez rounds third and on to home to score the first run for the Cougars during their game Wednesday against Sobrato.

Senior Mariah Martinez and junior Kristen Dennis had three hits apiece, senior Aly Olvera struck out five, and the Christopher High softball team posted a 7-1 victory over visiting Sobrato in the Cougars’ home debut Wednesday in Gilroy.

The Cougars (3-2), who were coming off of a 2-1 weekend at the Watsonville Tournament, pounded out 11 hits and scored at least one run in each of the first four frames.

“These girls have so much potential. It’s just a matter of building up their confidence,” CHS first-year manager Allison Robinson said. “We were hitting the ball to the right side and not just trying to pull everything.”

Olvera, meanwhile, scattered two hits over seven innings in picking up her third win of the season. She faced 27 batters, six over the minimum. Four of those reached via error.

“Her curve ball was working. That was her go-to pitch today, said Martinez, who has been behind the plate catching Olvera for the past three seasons. “It was a good game today.”

Back-to-back, one-out singles from Martinez and Kayla Medrano set the table in the bottom of the first. Dennis drove in Martinez with her first hit and Johnna Blank followed with an infield single to plate Medrano.

Martinez’s second single of the afternoon kick started a two-out rally, as the Cougars proceeded to tally twice more in the second inning. Olvera punched a ground ball to third that was misplayed allowing Martinez to score. Medrano, who was hit by a pitch and went to third on the error, crossed when Olvera stalled just long enough in a run down for the run to count before the Bulldogs applied the tag for the third out.

The Cougars manufactured their run in the third in a textbook-like manner. Dennis led off the frame with a single. She advanced to second on Blank’s sacrifice bunt and to third with Angelica Carillo’s ground ball to second base. Olivia Barajas sent Dennis the remaining 60 feet with a base hit up the middle for a 5-0 lead.

Freshman Mackenzie Holt led off the fourth with a deep double to center. Martinez promptly pushed her across with a single. Two batters later, Dennis poked a stand-up triple down the left field line for the Cougars’ seventh run.

“The way we have been practicing, and what we have done so far, I think we will get better,” Dennis said.

The Bulldogs (2-1) got one back in the top of the fifth. Mackenzie Mitchell singled with two outs and she later scored after a pair of Cougars’ errors.

“We need to start quicker. That was the postgame talk. And they are capable of doing it,” Sobrato manager Gene Ciraulo said. “That’s what we are looking at, make the corrections and we will work on it tomorrow.”

The Cougars are back in action Friday versus Aptos at 3:45 p.m. in Gilroy.

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