Terry Bernal/Daily Journal
Terra Nova’s Lesley Bode drives in a pair of runs with this single in the fifth inning, turning a
3-2 Terra Nova deficit into a 4-3 win over South City.
Terra Nova pitcher Makena Borovina seems like she’s doing some kind of damage to her throwing wrist the way she shakes off the pain after she throws a drop ball.
But that is almost certainly not the case.
The reason for the discomfort is the sophomore got spiked during a game last week. She soldiered through the pain to take to the circle at South City Friday and led the Lady Tigers to a 4-3 victory.
“Today was her best pitching I’ve seen this year,” Terra Nova head coach Donna Tolero said.
The only damage Borovina did was to the opposition through the opening innings, as the sophomore right-hander set down the first 10 batters she faced en route to a complete-game win.
“I was in a groove,” Borovina said. “I was just more confident today because I was watching when we were warming up and we looked good.”
The win didn’t come easy for Terra Nova. The Tigers (3-1 in PAL Ocean, 4-8 overall) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third. But after South City finally got a base runner, by virtue of an infield error with one out in the fourth, the Warriors sent eight batters to the plate amid a three-run rally to take a 3-2 lead.
But the Tigers answered right back in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Terra Nova senior Lesley Bode produced the clutch swing of the bat with a two-out, two-run single to give the Tigers a 4-3 advantage.
As great as Bode’s game-winning frozen rope to left field was, her postgame breakdown of the swing was even better.
“I let the first strike go by,” Bode said. “I adjusted. [The second pitch] was coming on the inside. I took my bat, adjusted, put it at the right angle, put my power into it, I rotated my hips, picked up my back foot and sent it right by the third baseman.”
Borovina and the Terra Nova defense did the rest, but not without plenty of drama over the final three innings.
In the fifth, the Warriors got their leadoff hitter on when Clarissa Fong was hit by pitch. Claudia Flores reached on a fielder’s choice with Fong getting thrown out at second. Emily Cotla followed with a liner back to Borovina, who nabbed it and threw behind the runner at first for an inning-ending double play.
In the sixth, Leanna Cruz and Gina Pozzi reached base to start the inning. But with no outs and two runners in scoring position, Borovina induced two straight pop outs before Alex Shiffer hit a towering fly out to right, stranding runners on second and third to end the inning.
In the seventh, South City junior Kassidy Lanchinebre led off with a single. But the Tigers promptly turned their second double play of the afternoon to clear the bases. Then after back-to-back singles by Flores and Cotla, Terra Nova senior shortstop Janelle DeJong fielded a sharp grounder to end it on a force out at third.
“The last two innings we had our chances and just couldn’t get a key hit,” South City head coach Manny Cotla said.
The fourth-year coach was still upbeat following the loss though.
“I’m still proud and happy with this game,” Cotla said. “It showed that we’re still right there. I told [my team] not to feel down. We’re still in this and it’s early in the season.”
With the win, Terra Nova leapfrogs South City (4-2, 7-5) in the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division standings. The Tigers are now tied for first place with San Mateo, as the Bearcats downed El Camino 10-0 Friday.
Sister duo setting table
Makena Borovina had a big day at the plate as well, going 2 for 3 while plating the Tigers’ first run in the second inning. Terra Nova’s No. 2 hitter slammed a one-out triple to center and later scored on an RBI single by Gabby Spencer-Crook.
The triple was Makena Borovina’s first of the year. Her younger sister, freshman Maia Borovina, is actually the triples machine in the family though, as the Tigers’ leadoff hitter has six three-baggers this season.
With the way the younger Borovina has performed, it’s strange to think she was surprised at making the varsity squad heading into the season.
“I was really happy of course and I was kind of shocked,” Maia said.
The older Borovina has had her ups-and-downs in the pitching circle since herself making the varsity squad as a freshman. This year she has split starting-pitching duties with fellow sophomore Spencer-Krook.
After taking a tough loss to San Mateo in a relief appearance Wednesday, Makena Borovina impressed Friday in South City — the city where her father grew up and where her grandparents currently reside.
“In the first few innings she had us good,” Cotla said. “The pitcher did a great job. We were off-balance. We really didn’t hit the ball.
“Later in the game … we started getting better hits. It just seemed like we couldn’t get that key hit with people on base.”
That was true of both teams. South City stranded six runners in the game while Terra Nova stranded nine.