Lady Bulldogs bounce top-rated Mitty 4-2

Alhambra’s Coach Paul Buccellato (right) high fives his players after the Bulldogs’ 4-2 win over Archbishop Mitty-San Jose in the second game of the Livermore Stampede Tournament. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra’s Coach Paul Buccellato (right) high fives his players after the Bulldogs’ 4-2 win over Archbishop Mitty-San Jose in the second game of the Livermore Stampede Tournament. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

After a win over Foothill, things not only didn’t get easier, they got tougher. Looming in an afternoon clash was the Archbishop Mitty-San Jose Monarchs, a Central Coast Section power akin to the Bulldogs.

It was always going to be a tight affair going against a team ranked 38th in the nation, but in her second win of the tournament, Sam Whitworth guided Alhambra to a 4-2 win with help from four players who each drove a run in apiece.

Whitworth started the game a lot shakier than she did against Foothill, falling behind all but two hitters her first time through the line up. But what she did manage to do was pitch her way out of sticky situations when she didn’t have her best stuff.

And all that allowed Alhambra to do was score runs to even further frustrate the Mitty Monarchs, who had suffered their first two losses of the season all within the span of about three hours (they lost 5-0 to St. Mary’s-Stockton earlier in the afternoon on April 7).

After getting aboard on a well place bunt single, junior Kimiko Zapanta swiped second base to put herself in scoring position for the ever-dangerous Bri Perez.

Perez smacked a ball to center field that may have been knocked down by the winds coming from beyond the fences. Nevertheless gave the ball enough of a ride to send the center fielder through the outfield fence and allowed Zapanta to score from second on the sacrifice fly.

Alhambra’s bottom of the order had a hard time getting anything going off freshman pitcher Savannah Smith. Only Jojo Kelly’s single up the middle troubled the freshman right-hander.

But when the lineup turned over again, the engine was back in top gear.

Zapanta slapped a single into left field, and Perez showed off her speed beating out a bunt that traveled 20 feet to set up Sparacino.

Unfortunately a bang-bang play at third and an aggressive base-running decision by Perez didn’t end with two runners in scoring position, but with two outs.

Fortunately, Cara DiMercurio came up and continued her hot start to the tournament by raking a booming double to drive in a run.

Mitty would get one back in the top half of the fourth, but more importantly Whitworth would strand two runners on after allowing a run to score on a balk.

The game was broken open in the bottom half of the fifth inning when the aforementioned bottom half of the order woke up.

Morgan Azevedo, who started the tournament off going 3-for-5 in the first two games, got her first RBI with a nice piece of opposite field hitting. Kelly got her second hit of the game and drove in Azevedo, who advanced into scoring position on a throwing error by the left fielder.

Those two runs gave Whitworth the shot at finishing what she started but a double by Oregon State-bound Lindsey Goubeaux knocked her out of the game.

Coach Paul Buccelato elected to give his sophomore Brianna Edwards a chance for the save, and was rewarded handsomely.

A stroke of luck eased the sophomore into the game, as Mitty’s Kaylin Stewart bunted a ball that she then ran into in fair territory, resulting in an out.

Edwards only had to throw two more pitches before the game ended the same way as the first, with an unassisted Karlee Sparacino double play, and an Alhambra win.

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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