SUNNYSIDE — Having broken into the win column on the road, the Lady Grizzlies ran the bases with unrelenting aggressiveness and played strong defense as they picked up their first home victory 4-2 against Davis in game one of a double header on Friday, April 19.
The 2-4 in Big 9, 3-10 overall Sunnyside softball team also won the second game, 14-2.
“We won on Tuesday, and so this is our second win in a row and we’re really pumped,” first year softball Head Coach Greg Stroh stated after the opener. “The girls are working really hard. They come every day, ready to work. We’ve had some tough first games, and they’re just determined to get better.”
Sunnyside’s gritty resolve was tested in the top of the third by the Pirates. A one out triple down the right field line followed by a walk had the Lady Griz on their heels.
Junior catcher Sam Norem took charge behind the plate as she settled down the defense, while recognizing the Pirates’ eagerness to manufacture a run to get back into the game.
Davis baserunners were at the corners as Norem signaled to the defense that a throw to shortstop, with the play at home, was on when the runner from first attempted to steal second.
“I threw it to my shortstop Malea Esqueda, and she threw it right back with the girl from third running home, and I tagged her out,” Norem described.
The throw and tag at third with the runner continuing to advance was close but the umpire called her safe.
The next batter grounded out and ended the Pirates’ scoring threat.
“It’s one of the first times the play has worked,” Norem said, while she went on to explain how the play was successful.
“I really emphasized the fake to second and the runner at third really wanted to steal, so they were ready to go.”
In the bottom of the third, after a walk and two hit batters, senior Rebecca Schaneman drove in Sunnyside’s first run of the game and led 1-0.
As they prepared to take the field to start the fourth inning, the Grizzlies’ dugout was alive with confident chatter.
Sophomore pitcher Kimberly Arteaga threw an unyielding top half of the fourth as the defense behind her made the plays and retired the Pirates in order. The home team clearly had the momentum heading up to the plate.
With runners on second and third base with two outs, Junior Marlee Weets scored on a passed ball by the catcher as the Grizzlies extended their lead to 2-0.
“If we get the opportunity to get on base, we need to make the most of it,” sophomore Olivia Puente expressed. “I’m not afraid to get dirty.”
Davis drove home a run in the sixth, while Sunnyside added two in their half and led 4-1 going into the seventh. The Pirates scored one more time as the Grizzlies’ defense remained poised and proceeded to win, 4-2.
“They’ve got the skills to win some of these games, but it’s just the confidence. I think that we’re starting to build some of that confidence right now and play together as a family… We wanted to play like a family — and have that closeness and strength that we can build off from each other.”