Sierra Vista’s softball team expected to see Faith Lutheran ace Mosie Foley in the circle Tuesday since the right-hander dominated the Mountain Lions a week ago in the championship game of the Crusader Invitational.
The Mountain Lions never got their chance for revenge, as Foley sat with a “nonsoftball injury,” but they proved they were still out for blood.
Sierra Vista finished with 16 hits and used a five-run seventh inning to cruise to a 10-3 road win in a key Division I-A Sunset League game. The Mountain Lions (8-1, 3-0) moved into a first-place tie with Pahrump Valley.
“In terms of coaching and preparation, we were all expecting Foley to pitch,” said Sierra Vista coach Keith Ulrich, whose team had only four hits and struck out 10 times against Foley on March 22. “We just reverted back to the teaching points that we had last week when we faced those other pitchers. The fact that we played in their tournament and were able to see all of their pitchers, it really helped us in this game.”
Sierra Vista didn’t have much trouble against Faith Lutheran pitchers Haley Jack and Caileen Ryan. The Mountain Lions — who left 10 runners on base — led 5-3 after the fourth inning before getting five runs on five hits in the seventh.
“It was 5-3 going out, and we knew the top of the order was coming up (for Faith Lutheran),” Ulrich said. “So we wanted to go out there and get one more run across and protect ourselves.”
Madison Hiu led off the seventh with a walk and came around to score on an RBI double by No. 8 hitter Jamie Kalaau-Sunia to start the rout.
“You look at our lineup and you’ve got balance throughout,” Ulrich said. “Our (Nos.) 7, 8 and 9 (hitters) got six hits for us. The fact that we can have the bottom of our lineup doing that well — it’s going to be hard for teams to stop us.”
Taylor DeGuzman went 3-for-4 with three runs for Sierra Vista, and freshman catcher Mia Buranamonti was 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs.
“She’s a freshman that’s really solidified our lineup,” Ulrich said. “Last year, we had some catchers, but it wasn’t our strongest position. She’s really come in and solidified that position. Not only from the fielding point, but being in the (No. 4) spot and protecting Kalei (Watkins) is huge.”
Watkins was the only Sierra Vista player not to get a hit, but she tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts.
“She’s learning how to change her pitches and change her placement,” Ulrich said. “I’m to the point now where I can totally trust what she’s doing out there. I don’t need to call (pitches) or tell her what she’s doing. She’s got it figured out.”
Claire Peck and Erin Gilchrist each hit a double for Faith Lutheran (14-3, 2-1). Peck was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Crusaders.
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson