SOFTBALL: GHS falls to Presentation, splits games this week

Gilroy's Holly Lam pitches to Alvarez during their game Tuesday.

Just a pair of games on the docket this week sat in front of the Gilroy High softball team. After the dust of what proved to be a whirlwind week of sorts settled, the Mustangs evened their Tri-County Athletic League mark at 2-2 with an 11-0 nod over Everett Alvarez in five innings on Tuesday. However, the turn to the weekend didn’t go as smoothly as GHS dropped a 4-3 decision to nonleague opponent and West Catholic Athletic League representative Presentation on Thursday.
Tuesday’s contest saw the return of sophomore pitcher Holly Lam, who took the circle in relief for the first time this season after spending the first month basically resting her arm. But just as the Mustangs gained Lam, they lost senior leadoff hitter Casey Lester to a tweaked ankle that will keep her on the shelf for a couple weeks.
“This week was rough overall, with a couple extra injuries thrown in there and some things not falling the way we wanted,” GHS manager Julie Berggren said. “But I think this week showed the fight that this team has.”
The Mustangs showed that fight Thursday against the Panthers – a team GHS had previously beaten, 4-1, in tournament play earlier this season. But a Panthers’ three-run top of the fifth – right after the Mustangs left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth – counted as the difference.
“(Presentation) did a great job defending what we do, and they pitched a different pitcher than we faced last time,” Berggren said. “We weren’t patient enough today and we let her take us out of the game with her pitch.
“We still hit the ball really hard and we hustled. We made some plays today offensively that kept us in the game. I’m very impressed with that,” Berggren continued. “There were a few where the girls hustled running out ground balls and we forced them to make the errors.”
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, a simple hustle play by Crissy Simpson kick started a two-out rally. Simpson raced down the first base line after a ground ball back to the pitcher, and was called safe after the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Nicole Green also pressured the Panthers’ defense with a skipping grounder and reached on an error as well. The next batter, Kaylana Mah, drew a walk to fill the bases, and Holly Lam’s sharp ground ball to shortstop was mishandled allowing Simpson to score. Amber Gamboa scorched a two-RBI single to left center, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, leaving it 3-1 GHS.
Ashley Lowenstein and Kayla Bose had the run-scoring hits for Presentation in the fifth. Panthers’ pitcher Katie Fotion starter a double play to end a sixth-inning GHS threat.
Adrianna Ortega (2), Ashlee Williams, Mah and Lam also had hits for GHS. Mustangs starting pitcher Lauren Castro recorded three strikeouts.
The Mustangs face another WCAL squad, Archbishop Mitty, on Tuesday before jumping back into TCAL play Thursday against North Salinas.
“Big week next week,” Berggren said. “We are going to come back, have a good practice on Monday and work hard Tuesday.”