By GERARDO RECINOS
They had two innings where they scored seven runs,” isn’t a phrase people say very often.
That is unless you watch Alhambra softball.
After coming home from Reno and playing competitive softball, the Bulldogs arrived in Orinda on Thursday, March 31, to open Diablo Foothill Athletic League with a batting practice session in a 24-2 win over Miramonte.
And if you can believe that a team can quietly hit for 24 runs, then believe it. At times on Thursday hits dropped in front of outfielders who were caught playing too deep, respecting the pop of the Lady Dogs.
In the first inning Alhambra knocked in seven runs, but most impressive is the fact they did it with seven extra base hits. Alhambra pounded out 19 hits in the win, 11 of which were for extra bases.
Pitching with a big lead makes life easy for a pitcher and allows her to challenge hitters and pound the strike zone, which is what Sam Whitworth did. She threw first-pitch strikes to nine of the 13 hitters she faced, and only allowed three hits in her shortened 3 1/3 innings.
Whitworth did allow a two-run home run to sophomore Megan Bower, who is the Matadors’ captain, and has made her verbal commitment to Santa Clara University.
Not phased with giving one up, Whitworth bore down and struck out the next two hitters, and retired nine out of the next 10 hitters, striking out five total.
By the time Whitworth finished her third inning in the circle, her win was all but secure. But Alhambra hadn’t yet triggered the 10-run rule.In the top half of the fourth inning, Alhambra exploded for another big inning. Senior Cara DiMercurio’s double sparked the rally. A triple from junior Morgan Azevedo, double from junior Jojo Kelly, single from junior Bri Perez, and double from junior Karlee Sparacino ratcheted up the score from 11-2 to 18-2 in the blink of an eye.
Azevedo’s line out in her second at bat in the inning with the bases loaded mercifully ended the pain for Miramonte.
Whitworth was allowed to face one more hitter before sophomore Briana Edwards took over. The sophomore number two threw a perfect 1 2/3 innings in relief, striking out two.
And her shutdown inning following the explosive fourth inning outburst allowed the hot Alhambra bats to do even more damage.
A pair of singles and an error set up the reigning DFAL MVP in her second bases loaded situation in consecutive innings.
This time she put some flair in her at bat, taking a 2-0 pitch to straight away center field for a grand slam. Perez’s third home run of the year put her over 10 RBIs (12) only six games into the year, and bumped up her batting average to .700 on the dot.
Miranda Nilson added two more RBIs in the inning to continue her hot start to the season, and make her the seventh Bulldog to start the season hitting over .300 so far.
She and every other Bulldog in the starting lineup joined in on the hit parade, with only junior Kimikp Zapanta not reaching base via a hit. Zapanta was walked four times by Miramonte’s freshman pitcher Lucy Kassela. Sixteen of the 17 pitches the junior center fielder saw were balls.
The Bulldog girls will have some time to enjoy their spoils during spring break before getting back to business on April 7, when they take on Foothill-Pleasanton and Archbishop Mitty-San Jose for the start of the Livermore Stampede Tournament.
Foothill is currently ranked 157th in the nation by MaxPreps, while Mitty is ranked 70th in the nation. The Bulldogs will take on St. Mary’s-Stockton in their third game of pool play on Friday, April 8.