On an absolutely beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the Santa Clara Bruins (7-4, 2-2) dominated rival Wilcox (7-5, 1-2) both at the plate and on the mound. Starting pitcher Kathryn Caravalho pulled the plugs on the Chargers all game long, allowing no runs on just two hits and no walks through five innings of her eventual 9-2 complete game victory. On the flip side, the Bruins got their bats going early and often, scoring in the first inning on the first of four hits and three RBI from catcher and cleanup hitter Natasha Sachdeva. Despite possessing by far the most power on the team, Sachdeva noticeably stayed disciplined with her swing, consistently knocking balls up the middle.
“Not trying to do too much is a huge factor [for her success,]” agreed Bruins Head Coach John Rahbar on his star hitter. “The situations she was in, she came up big because she’s consistent on the line drives. Even when I’m throwing BP, they are coming right back at me. And today [her hits] were going right back up the middle. That’s what she does in practice–line drives right up the middle every single time.”
“She got the team moving,” commented senior Jazalynn Seguritan on Sachdeva’s big game. “She was the one that started it all.”
While the Bruins didn’t score in the second inning, it was Seguritan’s double down the right-field line that was arguably the best at bat of the game. After fouling off four or five pitches, she took a couple of outside pitches before lacing an opposite-field line drive right over the first baseman’s glove.
“I was just really worried because I was behind [in the count] right off the bat,” recalled Seguritan on the sequence of pitches leading up to her hit. “In my mind I was just going to swing at anything and foul it off.”
“That hit was impressive because she was behind in the count and then she worked it full if I’m not mistaken,” added Coach Rahbar. “Then a couple of foul balls before her knock.”
Another standout for the Bruins was center fielder Anjelina Manuel. The senior picked up a pair of hits including a bunt single. In the fifth inning she went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt after realizing nobody for Wilcox was covering third base.
“I saw that [third base] was empty,” noted Manuel on her heads up base running. “As soon as I started running I was like ‘there’s nobody covering third.’”
“Heads up play on her part because I didn’t tell her anything,” admitted Coach Rahbar as he was coaching third base. “She just picked up on it.”
Understandably, the Wilcox dugout was in the opposite mood after the loss. The Chargers weren’t able to muster much in the way of solid contact until the game was out of hand.
“[Caravalho] was really painting the inside corner and jamming us,” acknowledged Wilcox Head Coach Laura Stott-Hardesty. “I don’t think we really got a solid bat on the ball all afternoon. She lived inside and it was effective.”
“Honestly we’re just not playing as a team,” commented Chargers shortstop Michelle Pengressi. “It’s crazy how young and talented our team is and how much they get in their own heads. It’s hard being a senior and lead the team when we’re just falling apart. Too many individuals, can’t be like that.”
The Chargers will get their chance for revenge when they play at Santa Clara on April 27.