Calaveras led Summerville 6-0 after two innings Friday and never looked back on their way to a 10-2 victory over the visiting Bears in a Mother Lode League softball showdown.
Calaveras hurler Megan Walters (above) delivers on Friday against Summerville in San Andreas. Diane Fischer / Union Democrat
Redskin pitcher Megan Walters scattered four hits and struck out 10 in her complete game effort. She also helped herself by going 2 for 4 at the plate, including a double and triple that drove in a combined three runs.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit at the plate and I’m finally getting back in the groove,” Walters said. “It’s nice to hit the ball and score some runs to help me out as a pitcher. It gives me and our defense some slack.”
Walters wasn’t the only Redskin having a good day at the plate as Jennfier Scantlen and Taylor Robinson both were a perfect 4 for 4. Scantlen hit a double, scored three runs and drove in three more, while Robinson also smacked a double, scored two runs and drove in another pair.
“They just hit the heck out of the ball and (Walters) was on her game — no doubt about it,” said Summerville head coach Ben Watson. “We got behind early and never really got out of the block.”
In the first inning, the Redskins stepped up to the plate and got two quick outs but didn’t let it phase them. Scantlen and Robinson hit back-to-back singles before Walters smashed one to left field for a double that drove in Scantlen for the first Redskin run.
Redskin catcher Kharli Robertson followed with another double to left for two more runs.
“I was really happy with that first inning,” said Calaveras head coach Mike Koepp. “Kharli Robertson (a sophomore) had that big hit early on to score those two runs, and with two outs, which puts a lot of pressure on a hitter. We call them ‘tough runs’ and she came up with two of those. It’s always nice to recognize the catcher because she works hard behind the plate.
“We’ve been struggling to hit the ball and (Taylor) Ebner is not a bad pitcher. She shut us down the first time we played her this season, so I like what we did today.”
The Redskins put a stranglehold on the contest scoring another three runs in the second inning. Calaveras freshman Katelyn Leatherman walked and stole second during the next at-bat. Redskin sophomore Marissa Hukkanen singled before Scantlen drove in both runners with a double.
Robinson followed with a double that plated Scantlen for a 6-0 lead.
“Summerville’s always hard competition and you can never underestimate them,” Scantlen said. “We did really good with our bats, came out strong, played together and worked hard.”
The Bears battled until the end despite an 8-0 deficit going into the sixth inning, in which Summerville scored its first run when Gamber snuck in on a passed ball.
Gamber followed that in the top of the seventh inning with a single to center that drove in Lydia Vass and kept the battle alive a little longer. She finished going 3 for 4 at the plate including a double in the sixth.
“She’s been swinging the bat consistently all year and was our only multiple hitter on the day,” Watson said. “She had some good at-bats, no doubt, but didn’t have a lot of support.”
With the loss, the Bears are 5-7 in the MLL and will face the Amador Buffaloes Tuesday in Sutter Creek before trying to spoil any momentum the Linden Lions (9-3) have heading into the playoffs in a doubleheader Wednesday at Linden.
“High school sports are about going out there every day and playing hard, whether or not you’re in the playoff hunt,” Watson said. “We’re still gonna play and work as hard as we can.”
Meanwhile, the league-leading Redskins (10-3) are looking to finish strong and clinch the 2013 MLL title but first must face third place Argonaut (9-4) on Tuesday at home and Bret Harte (5-8) in Angels Camp on Thursday.
“We’re going to have to hit and play solid defense against Argonaut,” Scantlen said. “They’re a good hitting team, but if we play like we did against Summerville then we’ve got it in the bag.”
Koepp is hoping Summerville can knockoff Linden during its doubleheader Wednesday to give the Redskins some breathing room but reminded his players not to count on anything outside of their control.
“We teach our girls to compete every pitch and every play,” he said. “We can’t control what’s happening everywhere else, but we can control what we can do.”
Koepp called clinching a playoff spot “nice,” but said his team has bigger goals in mind including winning the league title and earning the top-seed in the postseason.
“It’s fun to still be in competitive games where they actually mean something,” he said.