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Chargers Fight but Crucial Contest Slips Away

Taking on the Milpitas Trojans, the Wilcox Chargers couldn’t have asked for a better start to Monday afternoon’s game. The Chargers scored twice in the top of the first inning and added another run in the third to go up 3-0.

In the bottom of the third inning, a tremendous tumbling catch by center fielder Carina Parra ended the inning and saved the tying runs from scoring.

“She has improved so much in the outfield,” remarked Chargers Head Coach Laura Stott-Hardesty on her center fielder. “She was an infielder before but she has grabbed the opportunity to play the outfield this year and ran with it. She tracks balls down and has been an asset for us out there.”

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Unfortunately for the Chargers, instead of Parra’s catch keeping the momentum in the visitors’ dugouts, the wheels started to come off. Milpitas bats would continue to heat up as they tied the score with a two-spot in the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth the Trojans would take the lead for good with another two-run inning. A pickoff attempt by the Chargers at second base didn’t go as planned, the ball got away allowing both runners to move up another 60 feet.

The Chargers would rally to loaded the bases with only one out in the top of the sixth trailing just 5-3. Unfortunately, the next two hitters would strikeout looking and pop out to shallow center to end the inning.

Offensively, the Chargers had more than their fair share of bad luck. Not only were they unable to come up with key hits with runners in scoring position, but No. 3 hitter Serena Cadena smoked what should have been a leadoff single in the fifth inning. Instead the ball hit the pitcher and bounced straight to the second baseman for an easy put out.

“I think we had bases loaded twice and watched strike three, that really hurts,” noted coach Stott-Hardesty. “We were just talking with them afterward that maybe they are putting too much pressure on themselves and they just need to breathe.”

One of the biggest bright spots on the day for the Chargers was outfielder Ameryss Meza. The sophomore, hitting out of the sixth spot, went 3-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI. She blooped a single in the first inning, added a sacrifice fly in the third before crushing back-to-back doubles in the sixth and seventh innings.

“The first double the pitch was pretty much down the middle,” confirmed Meza on pitch location for her sixth-inning double. “When I see it, I see it and I just swing. It felt good though.”

“She hit the ball extremely well,” chimed coach Stott-Hardesty on her young outfielder. “She just had a really good eye for their pitcher today.”

The Chargers would give up two more runs in the sixth inning to go down 7-3. Meza’s second double pulled them within 7-4 in the seventh, but that was all she wrote.

It was certainly a disappointing loss as it drops the Chargers’ record to 5-5 with just two games remaining in the chase to qualify for the CCS playoffs.

Wilcox takes on rival Santa Clara on Wednesday before their finale next week on May 9 against Mountain View.

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