NBL softball: Maria Carrillo pulls out 4-3 win over Cardinal Newman

By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Maria Carrillo softball team scored three runs in the fourth inning to defeat Cardinal Newman, 4-3, Thursday afternoon.

“It was a scrap, but they found a way to win,” Pumas’ head coach Lonnie Harwell said. “We had one good inning and that was enough to get the win.”

The Pumas got on the scoreboard early, as Brittney Veler hit a double and eventually scored on a wild pitch from Cardinals’ pitcher Lexie Raasch.

The Pumas extended their lead in the fourth inning, as pitcher Robin Johnson scored on Randi McMahan’s hit to right field.

Bethany Devault plated Hannah Chew with a hit to center field, and then scored when Aspen Waddle hit a grounder down the third base line.

The Cardinals pieced together a rally late in the game on two errors by Maria Carrillo in the fifth and sixth innings.

“They took it right up to the end,” said Cardinal Newman head coach Jerry Briggs. “We went a little flat in the middle but we came firing back.”

A double by Sarah Knight in the seventh put the Cardinals within one run of the Pumas, but they couldn’t finish their rally as they fell to 2-3 in the North Bay League and 6-5 overall.

“I had confidence that we would back each other up, and we would just always work together as a team,” the Pumas’ McMahan said.

Johnson finished with six strikeouts and only three walks as she gave up three runs in seven innings of work.

“Robin pitched a great game, and we had one good inning,” Harwell said.

Johnson worked well with her speed on Thursday, she said, and knew she could get out of the seventh inning jam.

“With the defense behind me, I just knew we would get out of it,” Johnson said.

McMahan led the Pumas as she went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

“I just went out there looking for my pitch, sticking with my plan,” McMahan said. “Just looking for what I needed. Not what she (the pitcher) was trying to do.”

Devault and Chew both finished 1-for-3 with a run scored, and Johnson and Waddle both recorded a hit.

The Cardinals were led by pitcher Raasch, as she finished with two strikeouts and three walks, while she gave up four runs on six hits in seven innings on the mound.

“She’s a good competitor,” Briggs said about Raasch. “She can be hard on herself, but she’ll battle through it. They (Maria Carrillo) are a great hitting team and I’m proud of her.”

Kayla Douglas finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored for Newman, while Knight went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Maria Carrillo improved their record in the NBL to 5-2 and 11-5 overall.

“This year’s NBL is anyone’s game,” Harwell said about the league. “It’s going to be a dogfight until the very end.”

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