Shadow Ridge’s softball team played as close to a flawless game as they could Thursday against Faith Lutheran.
With a stellar pitching performance from freshman Jasmine Martin and a powerful offensive showing, the Mustangs completed a three-game sweep with a 9-0 win on the road.
Sophomore Alyssa Stanley slugged two home runs and finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs for Shadow Ridge (20-7, 12-3 Northwest League).
Stanley’s first home run opened the scoring for the Mustangs in the second inning, and she capped off the game with another solo shot in the seventh inning to straight-away center field.
Sophomore Shea Clements added a two-run homer in the third inning for the Mustangs. Clements was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
“I think they were finally resting on the pitch and waiting instead of being impatient and being ahead of it,” Shadow Ridge coach Julia Meyn said. “They made the adjustment. Once we made the adjustment and were able to make contact and put it in play that way key.”
The Mustangs averaged just over nine runs per game in the series with Faith Lutheran (14-9, 7-8 Northwest League) but did not go into any of the games expecting to be able to out-muscle the Crusaders the way they did.
“You always expect to score some runs but expectations are expectations,” Meyn said. “They’re just that. They’re not confirmed and you can’t guarantee it.”
Martin stared in the circle for the Mustangs for the second time this season and turned out a great performance.
Martin didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and struck out three in the complete game.
“Her first time we played against a pretty high-end team in the Bullhead tournament and she came extremely nervous, scared. She didn’t know what kind of defense she had behind her,” Meyn said. “Today she came out more confident. Knew when to take a deep breath, relax and knew not to over think it if she did miss. She respected that the defense would take care of it, and they definitely took care of her.”
The defense made just one error in the game, and the Mustangs have worked on being a tighter unit defensively as the season winds down.
“Our communication has been a lot better on those in-the-hole type balls,” Meyn said. “We’ve been focused on that, and we’re grateful that’s happening.”
Meyn made the decision to throw Martin on Thursday to see if she would be an option during the Sunset Region tournament. If Thursday’s game was an audition to get a start in regionals, it would seem Martin passed with flying colors.
“I’m going to say it’s possible,” Meyn said of Martin getting a start in the playoffs. “You don’t ever know what you’re going to be given. You have to go with your best that day. Whoever is bringing it that day is going to be on the mound.”
Contact reporter Bill Slane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4559. Follow @bill_slane on Twitter.