Brooks debuts with a shutout win over Cordova
In a tumultuous week, the Whitney softball team improved to 2-0 in Capital Athletic League competition with a 1-0 win over visiting Cordova last Thursday.
At the start of the week, the Lady Wildcats were informed that their two senior starters Taylor Cotton and Megan Mello had suffered injuries that would have them sidelined for a considerable period of time.
April 9, the Wildcats met the opening day of the CAL schedule with a 30-1 win over Mira Loma. Tessa Harris and Kayli Shaw scored five runs apiece and Kaylin Mallery had 13 runs batted in going 5-for-5. Madi Galuszka was 5-6.
That offensive outburst in the league opener was followed by pitcher Abi Brooks’ four-hit, one-run shutout of the Lancers. The sophomore was called up from the junior varsity after the injuries to Cotton and Mello.
After being given her varsity jersey only the day before, Brooks allowed only one Lancer to reach second base through seven innings.
Brooks recorded five-consecutive outs before giving up a single in the second inning. She then proceeded to set down the next nine batters.
Behind Brooks’ debut was an exceptional defensive performance by shortstop Shaw.
“I told Abi our defense would do great,” said Steele. “Our defense was phenomenal.”
Nothing epitomized Steele’s praise better than Shaw’s defensive gems in the seventh inning.
After Cordova’s lead-off single, Shaw forced the runner at second base with a diving stop of a well-hit ball. From the ground, Shaw flipped the softball behind her head to second baseman Mallory Andrada for the first out.
The next batter hit a drive headed for left field when Shaw leapt high into the air to steal a sure hit. To complete the shutout, the senior stole another sure hit by cutting off a ground ball up the middle and relayed it to first to end the game.
Other than a combined 4-for-8 performance by Andrada, Harris and Shelby Taylor, Whitney struggled on offense. The rest of the Wildcats were a combined 0-for-13.
“Morale is a little rough right now, so we didn’t hit the ball well,” said Whitney head coach April Steele. “But I expect that to turn around, there is just a lot of emotions going around with losing two of our top seniors.”
The ‘Cats sole run came in the third inning when Taylor scored after Cordova’s catcher attempted pickoff of Harris at second base missed the mark.
CAL – Whitney 2-0, Antelope 2-0, El Camino 2-1, Cordova 1-2, Rio Americano 1-2, Mira Loma 0-3.
Schedule – at Rio Americano April 18, at Antelope April 23.
WHITNEY 1, CORDOVA 0
Lancers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0
Wildcats 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 – 1