Bulldog softball comes up short in tourney finale

Alhambra’s Bri Perez (pictured above in the NCS Division II final in 2015) hit an authoritative .667 in the Reed High School Annual Softball Tournament in Sparks, Nevada from March 25- 27, 2016. Perez had two home runs, six RBI’s, four extra base hits and five steals in five tournament games. (NEVILLE GUARD / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra’s Bri Perez (pictured above in the NCS Division II final in 2015) hit an authoritative .667 in the Reed High School Annual Softball Tournament in Sparks, Nevada from March 25- 27, 2016. Perez had two home runs, six RBI’s, four extra base hits and five steals in five tournament games. (NEVILLE GUARD / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

The Lady Bulldog softball team played their way into the title game of the Reed High School Annual Softball Tournament, but were beaten in the championship game by the host team.

Paul Buccellato and the girls left for Reno last week to play their first games of record in Nevada after having played in a flurry of exhibition games which included a 2-1 win over perennial power Amador Valley-Pleasanton.

In the opening game of the tournament, the Lady Dogs took on Reno High School, and although they could only muster five hits they still cruised to a 5-1 win.

In the opener, reigning Diablo Foothill Athletic League MVP Bri Perez went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a home run. She and first-team all-DFAL selection Karlee Sparacino completed the perfect day for the double-play tandem with a home run of her own in a two-RBI performance.

Sam Whitworth opened her tournament with a cool five innings allow four hits and two walks in her first win of 2016.

In game two against Douglas the Bulldog bats got started the way we know they can. Sophomore first baseman Regan Silva went off in the 16-2 win, driving in three runs on a pair of doubles and a home run.

Transfer Kimiko Zapanta went 3-for-4 and scored four times in the win, and showed off the speed by stealing five bases.

Whitworth was spelled after her three innings of work by sophomore Briana Edwards. Edwards threw two innings of one hit ball, and struck out two hitters.

In game three, Carson was blown out by the Bulldogs 10-0 with two RBIs coming from senior Cara DiMercurio and a 2-for-3 performance by junior Morgan Azevedo. Perez went on to score three times in the game.

The Bulldogs continued to play well in the semi-final, this time against a Division II rival in Newark Memorial. The Dogs knocked out Newark in last season’s Division II semi-final as well, and this time sent out a sophomore to take care of the Cougars.

Edwards threw six innings and only allowed five base runners while striking out four in her second start of the season.

Miranda Nilson broke out of a mini-slump in the early games by hitting a home run and driving in a pair of runs, while Perez went 2-for3 with a home run of her own.

DiMercurio also doubled in a run in the winning effort in the semi-final.

In the final game of the tournament, Alhambra took on Reed, the hosts who were ranked in the top 10 in the nation before the season started. Although their ranking has since fallen, in two weeks, the Raiders have still not been beaten this season.

Sparacino had a solid game going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a home run, while Silva doubled in a run to help the Bulldog offensive effort, but Alhambra left 10 runners on base.

Whitworth got the loss in the title game, but only allowed a single hit in her 2 1/3 innings. Her seven walks allowed however did come back and haunt her.

Reed’s Kenzi Goins and Alexis Gonzalez each knocked in a pair of runs on a pair of doubles for the Raiders to lead them to a victory in their tournament.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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