The Valencia softball team possesses some of the top senior talent in the state, but Vikings coach Donna Lee acknowledges a bulk of the roster is still made up of underclassman.
Against Camarillo on Tuesday afternoon, a group Vikings seniors had superb performances.
Right-hander Shea O’Leary (Texas signee) struck out 15 in a complete-game effort. Catcher Ally Shipman (Tennessee signee) went 2-for-3 with a double. Amarys Miller-Godsey (Fairleigh Dickinson signee) went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Noel Dominguez (College of Charleston signee) went 2-for-3 as well and scored a run.
Despite outhitting Camarillo, and getting a runner into scoring position in six out of seven innings, the Vikings still fell short, losing 3-2 at Valencia.
“We had many opportunities,” Lee said. “We have a great senior group but we also have a young group. There was a little for today.
“But you take this game and you learn from it. When you get runners in scoring position, you’ve got to put the ball in play. Shea pitched good enough to win. We just didn’t get her enough runs.”
Dominguez was stranded on second as the tying run in the seventh after singling and moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kyla Hardy. But Camarillo (6-0) right-hander Eryka Gonzales collected her 11th strike to finish a complete game.
O’Leary had 15 strikeouts in her complete game. The Scorpions broke through for all three of their runs in the fourth, jumping ou to a 3-0 lead on an RBI from Emily Bartlett and two-run single from Carly Ormand.
“Definitely didn’t have the velocity or control that I would’ve liked,” O’Leary said. “Not the best (outing) but I’ll come back strong.”
Valencia (4-2) countered with both of its runs in the fifth. Miller-Godsey drove in won with a double and Emma Bramson drove in the other with a sacrifice fly. Dominguez’s single in the seventh was the team’s only hit beyond the fifth inning.
The sixth was the only inning the team didn’t strand a runner in scoring position to end an inning.
“We just need some of the girls to go up there and want to hit with the bases loaded and in those big situations,” Lee said. “But we’ll get there. It’s a long season with a lot of games.”
The Vikings begin play in the Tournament of Champions in Bullhead, Ariz., on Thursday against Rio Rancho (N.M.).