PALMDALE — The Paraclete softball team is firing on all cylinders at the right time of the season.
Paraclete pitcher Savannah Scripter hit a game-ending two-run home run, her second of the game, to cap off an 11-0 victory over Windward in a Gold Coast League game at Marie Kerr Park on Tuesday.
“What a way to cap it off by Savannah to hit that home run,” Paraclete coach Margaret Neill said. “That was nice.”
Scripter also pitched a one-hitter with five strikeouts.
“I knew my teammates had my back,” Scripter said.
The Spirits (15-1, 7-0 GCL) led 8-0 entering the sixth inning, needing just two runs to end the game via the mercy rule.
Paraclete center fielder Aspen Frey led off the inning by easily extending a base hit into a double and came home on Erica Rich’s RBI triple. One out later, Scripter came to the plate. The Spirits needed just one run to end the game, but Scripter gave them two with her homer.
“It felt great,” Scripter said. “I knew that my teammate Erica was on third and we only needed that run to get in. So, I just knew I had to get it somewhere.”
Paraclete picked up their first run in the second inning as Scripter drew a walk and pinch runner Nadalee Vasquez stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Alayna Hernandez.
The Spirits added four more runs in the third to make it 5-0. Buffy Goodwin reached on a dropped third strike with one out, stole second base and went to third on a wild pitch before coming home on Rich’s single with one out.
Rich then stole second and came home after Mackenzie Atkerson smacked a two-run shot over the fence.
“I just got my timing and then waited for a pitch to drive,” Atkerson said. “It felt good. It just shot off the bat and I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s gone.’”
Scripter made it back-to-back homers, hitting a solo shot.
“Usually it doesn’t happen,” Scripter said about the two straight homers. “But I knew she had us and I had her.”
Scripter finished 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs, while Atkerson was 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and three RBIs. Rich finished 3-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs. Lamarra Johnson also hit a double for Paraclete, while Frey was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty well today,” Neill said.
The Spirits scored three runs in the fifth starting with two-out back-to-back singles by Goodwin and Frey followed by back-to-back triples by Rich and Atkerson.
Hannah Mearns picked up the lone hit for Windward with a single in the fourth inning and Ella Olsen Richman reached on an error.
Paraclete honored its five seniors after the game, which included four-year varsity players Atkerson and Scripter, as well as Kristina Kane, Savannah Reyes and Tatiana Williams.
“I’m going to miss them a ton and my coaches,” Scripter said. “In the beginning, we were a little shaky, but I know we came together as a team and we really bonded and became closer friend-wise and everything.”
Paraclete is undefeated in Gold Coast League play with one game to go. The Spirits have already clinched the league title, but would like to win it with a perfect record for the first time since 2016. Paraclete ends league play at Viewpoint on Thursday.
The team is confident they can keep the wins coming.
“We’ve gotten a lot better,” Atkerson said. “Our chemistry has grown so much. We just connect so well and we all have each others’ backs, so the loyalty’s big. We go out to practice and just get things done.”