Thanks in large part to 4 and 2/3 quality relief innings from senior pitcher Kelly Adame, the Wilcox Chargers nearly overcame a six-run deficit on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Chargers fans, their rally fell short, falling to Cupertino, 7-5.
It was certainly an inauspicious start for the Chargers as the first three runs for the Pioneers all scored on a single pitch that wasn’t even a hit. Two runners and the batter all came home on a play that started as a comebacker to the mound. An overthrow at first base and then again at second base allowed the batter to come all the way around to score.
“We tried [to comeback],” commented Chargers Head Coach Laura Stott-Hardesty. “Unfortunately we made a lot of mistakes that they capitalized on. It took us until a little bit too late to wake up and decide that we wanted to fight back. We didn’t come up with a timely hit until the sixth.”
With the score 6-0 and one out in the top of the third, Adame came into pitch and settled things down. The top of the third inning ended on a fantastic, if unorthodox, 6-3-5 double play. One might have thought the inning double play would spark the Chargers.
“I was hoping it would [give us some energy],” noted coach Stott-Hardesty. “I’m not sure that it really had an effect, but it was nice to be able to put someone in and get us right out of a jam.”
“[Kelly] came in and really worked her butt off,” added senior leader and third-baseman Michelle Pengressi. “We would have played a solid game if we had played some defense early.”
In a game filled with mistakes, Pengressi was one of the defensive standouts at third base, making a number of strong plays. She also got the Chargers on the board with a sac fly to center field in the bottom of the third.
“She definitely started our offense,” remarked the head coach on Pengressi. “She plays solid defense, the leader on the field for sure.”
With Adame allowing just a solo home run in her time on the mound, the Chargers finally got back in the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. All four runs in the inning came after two outs were recorded. The big knock came with the score 7-1. Freshman shortstop Deena Pederson roped a single into left field to drive in a pair of runs. The Chargers would add on two more runs in the inning, trailing just 7-5 heading into the final frame.
While Adame made quick work of the Pioneers in the top of the seventh, Wilcox simply couldn’t reproduce their sixth inning offense in the bottom half of the seventh. The Chargers managed to get one base runner aboard, but that was all she wrote as a grounder to shortstop ended the game.
The loss drops the Chargers to 5-2 thus far on the season. After winning their first five, they have now dropped two in a row. League season opens next Tuesday as the Chargers host Mountain View.