Megan Patras nearly had to make an early exit from Liberty’s first game in the Charger Invitational softball tournament Monday.
Instead, the senior shortstop toughed out an injury and put a hurt on Desert Oasis.
Patras, who appeared to injure her knee as she collided with left fielder Isabella Baca while catching a popup in the top of the fifth inning, delivered the winning hit in the bottom of the fifth as the Patriots posted a 4-3 victory in their opening game of the tournament at Big League Dreams.
“She’ll never let up on anything,” Liberty coach Kris Jensen said of Patras. “And then she comes up with the game-winning hit. She’s a tough kid.”
Patras hustled back into short left-center field in pursuit of Emily Heinz’s pop-up to begin the top of the fifth inning. As Patras went back, Baca came in and attempted a sliding catch. Patras caught the ball as her knee struck Baca in the face.
Baca was fine, but Patras stayed down, eventually getting up and walking with a limp.
She convinced Jensen to allow her to stay in the game.
“I told her I wanted to get her out of there, but she just said ‘No. I’m fine,’” Jensen said.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Liberty got a double from Rhiannon Beck and a bunt single from Brittany Huff to put runners at the corners.
Francesca Foti doubled home both runners to tie the game, and Patras followed, legging out an infield hit. Foti never stopped running on the play and scored from second to give the Patriots the lead.
Foti needed only seven pitches to retire the Diamondbacks in the top of the sixth, and the game ended due to a time limit.
“(Foti) has been really great about being a leader,” Jensen said. “She’s been able to carry this team.”
Foti was 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, a run and three RBIs, and Beck went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs.
Holly O’Hara was 2-for-3 with a double and a run, and Audrey Blockovich added two RBIs for Desert Oasis.
Liberty added a 4-0 win over El Capitan (Calif.) later in the day, before dropping a 5-0 decision to Granada Hills (Calif.).
Against El Capitan, Sara Neiman tossed a six-hit shutout.
Beck, Carson Cooper, Diana Cassaro and Katlyn Kapral each had an RBI for Liberty.
Against Granada Hills, Liberty managed just two hits in a five-inning loss.
El Capitan (Calif.) 2, Desert Oasis 1 — El Capitan used a pair of unearned runs to nip the Diamondbacks.
Natasha Chapman had two hits, and Holly O’Hara drove in the Diamondbacks’ only run.
Granada Hills (Calif.) 8, Desert Oasis 0 — Granada Hills allowed just one hit to the Diamondbacks, who committed four errors.
Eldorado 6, Mater Dei (Calif.) 5 — Brook Ortiz’s RBI double plated Jackie Fletcher with the deciding run as the Sundevils rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth inning to complete a 3-0 day.
Eldorado turned a shortstop-to-first base-to catcher-to-third base triple play in the game.
Eldorado 3, Tech 0 — Ashley Jarzombek had three hits and struck out seven as the Sundevils stopped the Roadrunners.
Ortiz added two hits, including a triple, for Eldorado.
Amanda Roark scattered six hits in taking the loss for Tech.
Eldorado 5, Lincoln (Calif.) 3 — Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple as the Sundevils eked out the win.
Jarzombek struck out five and allowed seven hits to earn the win.
Coronado 8, Brawley Union (Calif.) 0 — Lee Harrison belted a three-run home run in the first inning, and Nicole Hardy added two RBIs as the Cougars completed a perfect day.
Coronado 3, Valley 0 — Danielle Amato allowed five singles, and Coronado scored early to defeat the Vikings.
Amato added a pair of doubles. Katie Cochran and Harrison each posted an RBI for the Cougars.
Coronado 11, Birmingham (Calif.) 3 — Lee Harrison, Haley Harrison and Amato combined for six RBIs for the Cougars.
Amato led Coronado with three hits.
Lee Harrison tossed a four-hitter to net the win.
Valley 4, Mar Vista (Calif.) 3 — Olga Torres’ single in the seventh allowed Valley to slip through for the victory.
Mar Vista had just finished an 11-inning game before playing the Vikings. The Mariners erased a 3-1 deficit with two runs in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3.
Mickayla Romero allowed just two hits to earn the win for Valley.
Brawley Union (Calif.) 10, Valley 1 — Brawley Union scored in every inning in taking the win over Valley.
Steffany Kitrell drove in the Vikings’ lone run with a single in the fourth inning.
Monte Vista (Calif.) 4, Tech 1 — Austyn Dziewit went 2-for-3 with a double in a losing effort for the Roadrunners.
Lincoln (Calif.) 8, Tech 5 — Lincoln used a four-run second inning to top the Roadrunners.
Jordyn Roark was 3-for-3 with a triple and a double for Tech.
Cimarron-Memorial 4, Las Vegas 0 — Carrie Sheehan tossed a three-hitter and struck out eight as the Spartans opened tournament play with a victory.
Sarah Murphy led Cimarron with two hits, including a two-run single in a three-run third.
Valhalla (Calif.) 4, Cimarron-Memorial 2 — Cimarron committed six errors in its second tournament game, despite a solid pitching performance by Sheehan.
Sheehan yielded just two hits and fanned nine.
Carli Stafford’s two-run double accounted for all of Cimarron’s scoring.
Cimarron-Memorial 8, North Hollywood (Calif.) 7 — The Spartans erased a three-run deficit with four runs in the final two innings.
Hannah Williams, Sheehan and Murphy each had two hits for Cimarron.
North Hollywood had just two hits off Cimarron’s duo of Sheehan and Alexa Snyder.
Las Vegas 9, North Hollywood (Calif.) 1 — Krizzel Galvez had four hits, including a pair of triples, as the Wildcats earned the win.
Jamye Cooley added three hits and a pair of stolen bases for Las Vegas.
Valhalla (Calif.) 2, Las Vegas 1 — Valhalla made a two-run third inning rally hold up to remain unbeaten in pool play.
Brooke Booth drove in the Wildcats’ only run.
Durango 10, Green Valley 1 — The Trailblazers erased a one-run deficit with eight runs in the third inning to down the Gators.
Kendal Short had three hits, including a double and a triple, for the Trailblazers. Dallas Boyce had a pair of RBIs for Durango, which pounded out 12 hits.
Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) 4, Durango 2 — Riley Price homered twice, including the go-ahead two-run blast in the seventh as Cathedral Catholic stunned Durango.
The Trailblazers tied the game at 2-2 on Mindy Larson’s two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth.
Carson (Calif.) 6, Durango 1 — Marley Sandoval produced the only run as the Trailblazers finished the first day of pool play 1-2.
Carson (Calif.) 7, Green Valley 0 — Shelby Vickers had both of the Gators’ hits in their loss to Carson.
Green Valley 3, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) 1 — Chelsea Anderson’s three-run home run in the third inning gave the Gators all the offense they needed.
Tara Webster tossed a five-hitter for Green Valley.
Banning (Calif.) 23, Clark 4 — Banning scored 16 runs in the second inning and never looked back in taking the four-inning win.
The Chargers’ lone bright spot came from the bat of Kaitlyn Szeles, who slapped a two-run homer in the third inning.
Santana (Calif.) 3, Clark 1 — Amanda Grable homered and drove in two runs as Santana edged Clark.
Jasmine Fukuda’s single in the fifth inning drove in the Chargers’ lone run.
Hilltop (Calif.) 4, Clark 1 — The Chargers were limited to two singles in their loss to Hilltop.