The Mountain View softball team might as well have been swinging at a basketball the way their bats connected against the Rincon Rangers on April 25. The team pulled away early, and in a game with no errors, never looked back in the 23-0 victory.
The Mountain Lions made a statement in the bottom of the first inning, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. Kailey Mellen got the party started for the Mountain Lions with a ground-ball triple, and scored after an RBI by Kelsea Mckemy-Scott sent her home for the first of many runs to come.
The Mountain Lions continued with seven more runs in the first, coming from Mckemy-Scott, Mariah Rodriguez, Dani Molinar, Kayla Ugaitafa, Lizzette Roman-hashim, Tory Lujan, and Mellen, who scored for a second time to close out the inning 8-0.
The bases remained loaded for much of the second and third innings.
The pitching by Mountain View’s Ariana Gonzalez was solid throughout the game, and helped give Rincon three quick outs to begin the second inning, an inning that added seven more runs to the scoreboard for the Mountain Lions. The Rangers struggled to field the ball, allowing Mountain View to round the bases relatively easily, and close out the second inning 16-0.
“We hit really well,” said second-year coach Jill Malina. “We’ve worked really hard this season and had a lot of good leadership on this team throughout the year.”
The Mountain Lions’ hard work didn’t let up in the third inning. A double by Jordyn Coffey kept the Mountain Lions’ momentum going, and was followed up with a near-homerun by Ariana Teyechea, which advanced Coffey home, bringing the score to 17-0.
Rounding out the inning with runs were Rodriguez, Justyne Coffey, Molinar, Kelsee Gopp, Roman-Hashim, and Celi Perralta to end the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, 23-0.
“We were all really consistent at bat,” said Rodriguez. “We were connecting pretty hard.”
Malina felt just how hard her players were connecting whenRodriguez hit a line-drive foul ball straight in her coach’s direction. Fortunately, Malina, a former University of Arizona softball player, was able to deflect the ball with her hand.
The Mountain Lions finished the season with a 15-9 regular-season record, which narrowly disqualified them from competing in state competition. Still, Malina, who will return for her third year of coaching in 2013, said the Mountain Lions showed a lot of talent in the 2012 season.
“This game really showed the talent we have,” she said. “We beat teams who are ranked above us, and even stayed competitive against teams like CDO. This game was an example of what we need to do in the future.”
The Mountain Lions will lose three seniors in Rodriguez, Roman-Hashim, and Gonzalez, but will keep their sights set on making the state tournament next year.