Tuesday afternoon in Milpitas was the setting of your classic pitcher’s duel. The starting pitchers matched zeroes for most of the game until the Trojans scratched across a second run in the bottom of the seventh for a 2-1, walk-off victory. Santa Clara ace Victoria Latz and the Bruins defense did all they could to try and hold onto a 1-0 lead, but Milpitas tied the game 1-1 in the fifth, before winning in walk-off fashion in the seventh.
“She was pitching really well today,” said Bruins’ starting catcher Abigail Klahold. “We attacked the hitters and they put it in play.”
When the Trojan hitters did put the ball in play, the Bruins defense came up large. The most noteworthy defensive gem was started by Klahold on a bunt attempt with runners at second and third and nobody out. Klahold popped out of her crouch, picked up the ball and gunned down the runner at first. The runner at third then beelined for home, but first baseman Piper Soto made a quick catch and release throw home to nail the runner as third baseman Sierra Trujeque applied the tag at home plate.
“When she laid it down I saw our corners crashing but I realized it was closer to me so I picked it up and didn’t even look at the runner at third, I just threw it to first,” recalled Klahold on the clutch double play. “Luckily Sierra was behind me to catch the throw home.”
Santa Clara would finish out the remainder of the third inning without allowing a run, maintaining their 1-0 lead for the time being.
“I’m extremely happy [with the defense], even though we did come up with the loss,” remarked Santa Clara Head Coach Julie Kawamoto. “It’s just plays like that, to show them ‘hey, you guys did great.’”
While the Bruins defense shined behind a tremendous pitching performance, the offense remains in a bit of a funk. Santa Clara came up empty in the extra-base hit department. Although, Klahold and Rachelle Martin-Vera came up with solid singles at the plate.
“Our last game against Los Altos we kind of forgot to how to play, we made a bunch of errors and of course we weren’t hitting, which was our problem today too,” added coach Kawamoto. “But as far as defense goes today, I’m not surprised we came out of it and had a good game.”
Santa Clara will look to bounce back with their first win of the league season Thursday, March 28 when they host Los Gatos.