San Jose high school softball: Del Mar defeats Gunderson

SAN JOSE – Natalie Dixon’s off-speed pitches confused Gunderson hitters as the Del Mar junior softball pitcher had a season-high 16 strikeouts Wednesday afternoon.

The Dons won 11-4 and extended their perfect start to 7-0.

Facing a Blossom Valley Athletic League West Valley Division opponent that entered the game averaging 20 runs per game, Dixon got 11 of his strikeouts via swing-and-miss third strike.

And after every pitch, strikeout or not, his defense would serenade and reinforce Dixon with cheers.

“They are so supportive and always talk to me and encourage me and encourage me,” Dixon said. “It helps me.”

A huge second inning gave the Dons the cushion they needed, scoring six runs as every player in the batting order took to the plate.

Del Mar didn’t need a hit to score its first run.

Kaida Carson led off the inning by being hit by a pitch, and Maren Woodfill got a walk, Zulema Hernandez de Orta was hit by another pitch to load the bases, then Angelina Lopez got another walk to drive a race.

Singles from Sienna Denson and cleanup hitter Suzette Hernandez de Orta helped clear the bases to give Del Mar a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

“We had the one run that got away from us,” Gunderson coach Theautry Snyder said. “But you know, a defeat is a lesson. In one inning, we missed a bunt. In the next round we double them.

Gunderson didn’t give up despite a huge deficit. Left fielder Judah Tillman scored the Grizzlies’ first run when leadoff hitter Jaelyn Vejar slapped a single into right field. Vejar then stole second and eventually came home on two wild pitches.

Other highlights for Gunderson (5-2) included Melanie Larlos and Alanna Martinez Poklong, who combined for three hits. Freshman shortstop Desirae Regalado also drew cheers from home fans for her strong glove work.

“We will play them again later in the season, and I think this time we will do much better than today,” Poklong said.

Del Mar remained in control throughout, scoring one run each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before tallying two more runs in the top of the seventh. Gunderson scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.

California Daily Newspapers

Back to top button