West High’s softball team was denied a trip to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs with their 5-3 loss to Pitman High of Turlock on Tuesday at West High.
The loss ends West’s season with the Wolf Pack going 13-10-1 overall and 8-2 and second place in the Tri-City Athletic League. Pitman (15-12, 9-6 Central California Conference) moves to the second round on Saturday at the Sacramento Softball Complex, where the Pride will play Monticello Empire League champion Vacaville.
Both sides needed to make the most of their hits on Tuesday. West junior Shelby Weeks opened with a single in the bottom of the first and scored on senior Haley Hollis single. Weeks got another hit in the third, but that was it for West until the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Pitman came up with three hits, including a double and a triple, plus two batters hit by pitches, to take a 2-1 lead in the third. Two Pitman hits and three West errors in the sixth allowed the Pride to score three unearned runs for a 5-1 lead.
West had a chance to take the game back in the bottom of the sixth, with junior Samantha Asbra, Hollis, and sophomore Taylor Burns loading the bases on three consecutive singles. Junior Kristen Olson singled to bring in a run, and Hollis dashed home on a passed ball.
“We really needed the runs and our team wanted to give it our all,” Hollis said.
With two out and the tying run on second Pitman intentionally walked leadoff batter Weeks and then ended the inning on a ground-out.
“We felt like we were going to come back with a big hit,” Weeks said. “I was so mad. I wanted to hit.”
Weeks, West’s starting pitcher got the loss after she gave up seven hits over seven innings and struck out six batters.
West coach Marty Torres said that Weeks, the backup pitcher with the usual starter, sophomore Janae Sims out with an injury, held up well against the Pitman batters.
“They (Pitman) were persistent and a little more consistent with their play. I give them a lot of credit,” Torres said.
Pitman coach Joe Lewis said his team’s patience at the plate paid off as some went for extended at-bats and repeated fouls before they got on base.
“Luckily today we had some key hits when we needed them,” he said. “It only takes one good swing. You may have seven that aren’t considered good, fouling it off, hitting it wrong, but all it takes is one, and they battled well today.”
Contact Bob Brownne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4227.