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June 19, 2021

Prep Softball: Conlon’s heroics push Gilroy past North Salinas

GILROY—The “Never say die” attitude is alive and well at Gilroy High.
A day after the baseball team pulled off its dramatic seventh inning win over Salinas, the softball team pulled off one of its own. Alexis Conlon was the Mustangs’ hero, driving in both of their runs in its 2-1 win over North Salinas Thursday in the regular and home finale.
The Mustangs and Vikings were tied at one-all when the freshmen frenzy began. Freshman outfielder Liezl Clark led off with a double to put the winning run in scoring position. Conlon, the Mustangs’ freshman second baseman, executed a perfectly placed basehit to score Clark and give her team a much-needed ‘W’.
“It’s (the win) huge. It keeps us alive right now,” Gilroy coach Bria DeLorenzo said. “Basically if we lost this game, that was our season. So this gives us hope right now. Hopefully we have enough points to give us that at-large (Central Coast Section playoff) berth.”
Conlon broke up the Vikings’ no hitter with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to put Gilroy up 1-0. She led the team with two hits and two RBIs.
“It was really exciting. I feel like our team tried really hard and it was an all-around team effort,” Conlon said. “We’ve been working really hard. It really puts the team together, coming out and practicing two and a half hours ago. It really contributes to how we play.”
North Salinas was knocking at the door in the first and third innings, but stranded runners on third and second, respectively. The Vikings stranded another runner at third in the top of the fourth before scoring the equalizer on an RBI-single in the top of the fifth.
Lauren Castro was stellar in the circle for the Mustangs once again, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out two over seven innings.
“Lauren’s nails,” DeLorenzo said. “That girl, since her freshman year, has carried us and she continues to do so. I don’t know how many people really understand how huge of a player she is—and a team player. There’s lot of times where she might not being having the best game, but she never lets that show. Especially today, she’s been hitting her spots really, really well.”
Gilroy now waits to hear if it will receive an at-large berth into the CCS playoffs. The seeding meeting takes place Saturday and time, dates and locations of games will be released soon after. The Mustangs entered the CCS playoffs last season as the No.8 and went on a run to claim the title. They’re hoping that history repeats itself.
“I’m crossing my fingers,” Conlon said. “I really hope we do (make it).”

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