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Softball | Golden League: Littlerock 13, Knight 10

Lobos outlast Hawks for sweep in Golden League

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PALMDALE — The Littlerock softball team survived a wild start to its Golden League game at Knight High on Thursday.

Knight and Littlerock combined for 10 runs and three home runs in the first inning, as both teams seemed to benefit from strong winds blowing to the fences.

The Lobos rallied from a three-run deficit, holding the Hawks scoreless in the final four innings in a 13-10 Golden League victory.

Littlerock (10-7, 6-6) remains in fourth place in the Golden League, moving two games ahead of fifth-place Knight (7-17, 4-8) with two games remaining in the regular season.

“I think we did great today,” Littlerock senior Natasha Arroyo said. “We were able to come through, even when the other girls, they came up on us for the couple of innings. I’m happy we pulled through. Our pitcher pitched a hell of a game. Our defense had her back. I’m very proud of my girls.”

Littlerock jumped out to an early lead with four runs on back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning.

Arroyo hit a three-run home run and senior Zenaida Cortez followed with a solo homer to right.

“I’m proud of how we played,” Cortez said. “We fought really hard. We kept our heads up. At one point we were down, but we stayed in there.

“Our teammates helping each other out. The third inning we all had our heads down. We just had to cheer each other on and keep it up.”

Knight answered with six runs on three hits, including a grand slam home run by Jes Melendez.

Eve Cortez hit an RBI single with the bases loaded and one out and Emma Escobedo drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in a run before Melendez came to bat.

Littlerock retook the lead with three runs in the top of the second inning, on a two-run double by Cortez and an RBI double by freshman Elizabeth Thompson, giving the Lobos a 7-6 lead.

Knight answered with two runs in the second, on a two-run, bad-hop single past the Littlerock shortstop by Knight’s Grace Contreras.

The Hawks took a 10-7 lead in the third on a two-run home run by leadoff batter Serena Rodriguez.

“We did really good,” Knight coach Kristin Powell said. “We played way better than we did on Tuesday and that is what matters.

“It really was just an energy level and a desire to hit the ball, is what it comes down to. It’s always what it comes down to, your desire to hit.”

Littlerock beat Knight 10-2 on Tuesday.

The Lobos started chipping away at the Hawks’ lead in the fourth inning on Thursday.

Littlerock scored on an RBI single by Cortez in the fourth and took an 11-10 lead with three runs in the fifth inning.

Littlerock freshman pitcher Chloe Paez hit an RBI double, Arroyo was hit by a pitch and later scored and Cortez hit an RBI single.

“I feel that we did good and we stayed together as a team and brought each other up when we were starting to get down on ourselves,” Paez said. “Knowing that we can do it, because we won the first game.”

Littlerock added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Arroyo, that allowed senior Angelica Anguiano to score, but junior leadoff batter Alyssa Moreno was thrown out at home on the play.

The Lobos added a run in the top of the seventh, when Cortez reached on an error and scored on the Hawks’ third error in the inning.

Cortez was one of two Littlerock players with four hits, along with Arroyo.

Cortez was 4-for-5 with three runs and five RBIs and Arroyo was 4-for-4 with four runs and four RBIs.

“I think what really helped us was, we were able to pick each other up,” Arroyo said. “We made sure none of the girls hanged their heads down low. We made sure they kept their heads in the game, because the inning wasn’t over. It was the first inning. We had a lot of ball game to play.”

Moreno and Paez both finished with three hits apiece for the Lobos.

Moreno was 3-for-6 and Paez, batting second, was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.

Thompson was 2-for-4 with an RBI double off the center-field fence in the second.

“I feel that we played as a team today,” Thompson said. “We didn’t make any errors and our bats worked really well. We all just helped each other out.

“I think the pregame prep, just telling each other we could do it and just to have our heads high and never to drop them. I think just cheering each other on is key and always putting each other up.”

Paez settled down in the circle for Littlerock after giving up 10 runs on seven hits in the first three innings.

“I think she got into her head, but we helped her out as a team and we shut them down,” Cortez said.

Paez threw four scoreless innings to finish the game, holding the Hawks to two hits and one walk. She finished with three strikeouts.

“My shortstop kept telling me I got this,” Paez said of Arroyo. “Just cheering me up when they were hitting the ball really good.

“That was really good. I was super proud of us. It felt really good.”

Knight had just one runner in scoring position after the third inning. Serena Rodriguez was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.

Vicky Rodriguez and Katelyn Harrington were both 2-for-4. Vicky Rodriguez had two runs and Harrington scored one run.

“We just got excited. We tried to do too much with it, instead of just staying on the bases and getting base hits,” Powell said. “Honestly even in the later innings, we were hitting the ball hard, it was just right at people. We were hitting some long shots. When you hit them right at people, that’s all you can do.”

Littlerock plays two games against Eastside next week, the final week of the regular season, starting at Eastside High on Monday.

“It’s really important for us, because we’re trying to make it to CIF and we haven’t in a long time,” Thompson said.

Littlerock has not qualified for the playoffs since 2005, when the Lobos finished third in the Golden League.

“It means a lot,” Cortez said. “We’re really close to CIF, two more games. I believe we can take. We just have to keep our heads in there and push. I believe in us.”

Knight has a two-game series against Antelope Valley next week, starting on Monday at Knight High. The final day of league play is Wednesday.

(1) comment

RayleneM

Way to go LOBOS! Way to stay in there proud of you ladies great game

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