Terry Bernal/Daily Journal
Hillsdale pitcher Eryn McCoy improved her record to 7-2 with a complete game 5-2 win over Capuchino.
The Hillsdale softball team kept the heat on in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division race with a 5-2 win at Capuchino Thursday.
The Knights (4-2 in Bay Division, 11-3 overall) sent nine batters to the plate in the third inning in which they scored all their runs after two were out. Riley Wells sparked the outburst with a two-out walk, starting a carousel of six straight Hillsdale batters reaching base.
After Wells walked, junior Bailey Nestor singled, junior Kelly Miller reached on an error to score Wells, junior Kara Ronberg singled to score Nestor and sophomore Arianna Richwood reached on an error to score Miller. Then junior shortstop Meagan Wells punctuated the rally with a booming two-run double to plate Ronberg and Richwood.
The big rally was an immediate response to Cap (2-3, 9-7) scoring two runs in the previous half inning.
“We’re sort of the comeback kids,” said Meagan Wells, who entered the game hitting .353 and now paces the Knights with five doubles. “Whenever we get down we don’t give up. We never give up. We never stop pushing to our full potential.”
Knights right-hander Eryn McCoy earned the win with her fourth complete game of the year. The loss was charged to Cap right-hander Rafaela Dade. All five runs surrendered by Dade were unearned. However, it was the sophomore’s two errors that opened the door for the Knights’ comeback rally.
“We gave it away,” Cap head coach Todd Grammatico said. “We should have won it 2-0 … 2-1 at the most.”
Grammatico expressed absolute faith in his sophomore right-hander nonetheless.
“[Dade] has been excellent,” he said. “She did a good job today. She was our pitcher last year as a freshman. She is like a hundred percent (better) over last year. As hard as she works, I expect her to improve every year. … By her senior year she’ll probably be one of the best pitchers in the league.”
Hillsdale has been getting some serious results from its starting pitching tandem of McCoy and junior Tori Pierucci. With Thursday’s win, McCoy improves 7-2. Pierucci is currently 4-2. And the duo rolled at the Wilcox Invitational Tournament at Mission College Saturday to pace the Knights to a 3-1 record.
“I personally think both of them haven’t progressed like I want them to,” Hillsdale head coach Randy Metheany. “But if you look at their ERAs, our team ERA is 1.20. If it’s 1.20, you should probably win every game. So, you can’t really put it on them. I do kind of feel bad for them because we have struggled at the plate as of late, where early in the year we were crushing the ball. Better now than later in the year, but … they both pitch excellent.”
Capuchino was sitting pretty after a second-inning rally. The Lady Mustangs got a leadoff single from Lili Luevano. The senior stole second and freshman Adriana Picazo singled her home to get Cap on the board. Then with two outs, sophomore Allie Stines hit a booming triple to right to score Picazo.
Stines has been the lifeblood of the Cap offense this season, entering into play sporting a .417 batting average. The Mustangs are paling in comparison hitting .237 as a team and totaled just three hits in a 1-0 loss to Woodside Tuesday.
“We’re just a little rusty but I expect to come back,” Grammatico said.
For Hillsdale, the offensive strategy is simple: Put the ball into play and good things happen.
“You get the ball in play and don’t hit pop-ups and a lot of things can happen,” Grammatico said. “When it’s on the ground good things can happen.”
With the win, Hillsdale holds steady at the third place in the Bay Division race behind second-place Half Moon Bay and first-place Carlmont.