Friday afternoon’s softball matchup between the Santa Clara Bruins and Monta Vista Matadors was fitting of a competition on St. Patrick’s Day—it was wild and a little bit lucky.
The Bruins ended up 18-14 victors in a game where they went up 6-0 in the top of the first inning. Santa Clara took advantage of a young and inexperienced Matadors squad, taking extra bases with ease. Even one of the more unlikely candidates to take extra bases, third baseman Jordyn Guzman, hit back-to-back triples. Guzman, known more for power than speed, broke out of a slump by going three-for-three in her first three plate appearances including five RBI.
“I didn’t feel as nervous as I thought I was going to,” noted Guzman on how she felt at the plate. “It was our first league game so it was just relieving to know we could rally and that I could help keep it going.”
“[Jordyn] has actually been struggling a little bit, but all of a sudden at yesterday’s practice, she started mashing the ball,” remarked Bruins Head Coach Julie Kawamoto. “She’s slowly maturing and getting that mentality where ‘I just have to hit’ and not think about it so much. Not moving her around in the lineup, she knows she has a job to do. Today she definitely stepped up; hopefully, it’s the start of something good.”
Along with Guzman, it was center fielder Jazzy Ramirez who delivered one of the most impressive hits of the afternoon. Santa Clara had gone up big in the game 13-2, but with the Matadors having pulled back to within 13-7, it was a timely inside-the-park home run by Ramirez to get the momentum back in the Bruins dugout.
Ramirez smashed a ball right along the ground just inside the third-base bag. The opposite-field hit sliced into the corner away from the left fielder who was shading toward center. That allowed the speedy Ramirez the ability to scamper all the way home before the throw.
“When I saw it go down the line, I thought it was a foul ball at first,” admitted Ramirez. “But when I was rounding second, I was looking at my coach and she was telling me to keep coming so I was like ‘ok I’ll keep going.’”
Ramirez added she thought she would eventually get the stop sign at third base, but never did. It was a big run in the game. Although it was a seven run cushion, Monta Vista would storm all the way back, including a four-run bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 14.
Santa Clara could have dropped their heads at the fact they allowed their opponent to come all the way back from an 11-run deficit, but instead, they got back to scoring runs.
The ghost runner at second base came around to score on a dropped third strike that Ramirez was able to beat out at first base. Guzman would draw a walk, during which Ramirez came all the way around to score on multiple wild pitches.
Just like that, the Bruins were back up 16-14. Catcher Evonne Bergman then drove the hardest hit ball of the afternoon, a line shot over the third baseman’s head for an RBI double. After a Malana Dinwiddie infield single, the Bruins coaxed one more insurance run across on a double steal.