Tuesday afternoon’s softball game between the Santa Clara Bruins and Saratoga Falcons was not a game that the home team would prefer to remember. The Bruins went down early in this one, falling behind 10-0 in the first two innings.
However, for a young squad, there were clear and obvious teaching moments as the game evolved. Therefore, whilst they might not want to remember it, storing the memories would actually be beneficial moving forward. One major takeaway the team can learn from is that walks and errors hurt the most.
In the first two innings in which the Falcons scored the majority of their runs, they actually did not get that many hits. In fact, Saratoga recorded the same amount of hits in the first two innings (three), that they did in the final three innings. But in the final three innings, they only scored three runs, for a 13-0 final score.
Limiting the errors and free passes would have had the Bruins in a much better position to stay competitive from start to finish.
“That’s definitely been our biggest issue early in the season,” confirmed Head Coach Julie Kawamoto on the walks and errors. “We will have that one error that just keeps the inning going and going. We are a young team though. We have to learn to pick each other up.”
One of the youngest players on the Bruins team already shows signs of being a leader. Freshman catcher Evonne Bergman impressed behind the plate with her blocking ability on balls in the dirt and general command of the field.
“She definitely holds it down back there,” chimed shortstop and leadoff hitter Vanessa Calvillo on Bergman. “Our pitchers this year are pretty new to pitching and I think they feel incredibly supported by her as a catcher. She really does her job back there.”
“We’re very fortunate to have her,” echoed Kawamoto on Bergman. “She’s not afraid to get dirty, she is always out here right after school, rushes over here to get her gear on. She’s an incredibly hard worker and really never says no. She’s one of those kids I would love to have as a student and a player. All around great kid. If I could have nine of her, I would love to have nine of her.”
Along with Bergman defensively, the offensive standout for the Bruins with two hits on Tuesday was third baseman Malana Dinwiddie. The sophomore was the only Bruin on base multiple times against Saratoga.
“I felt really good at the plate today,” confirmed Dinwiddie on her plate appearances in the loss. “I felt like I went up there for my team and did whatever I could to get our confidence going with the bats.”
“I praised her after the game to the rest of the team,” noted Kawamoto on Dinwiddie. “Because she did make a mistake in the field, but then she made up for it by hitting twice. These girls need to understand, if you make a mistake, turn around and do something on offense. There are still opportunities to bounce back.”
The Bruins will look to bounce back as a team when they host Gunn on Thursday, March 24.