After two pop flies and a strikeout in the second inning, Golden Valley’s offense appeared to be sputtering.
It prompted Grizzlies coach Daniel Soto to give his team a quick pep talk before the third frame. Standing just outside the dugout, he calmed his players and urged them to not swing too big.
Soto’s message was heard, as Golden Valley’s bats quickly came alive and managed to beat Hart 10-6 at Hart on Tuesday.
“I think we just picked our energy up definitely and we knew we had to put some runs on for Cass (pitcher Cassidy Cangemi) and our defense was a little … we had some hiccups and we knew we had to pick it up with our hitting,” said GV’s Jasmine Carbajal.
Hart (7-13 overall, 2-3 in Foothill League) was the first to light the scoreboard with a home run from Jordyn Gasper in the first inning.
After a scoreless second frame, Golden Valley (16-2, 4-1) smacked two consecutive two-run doubles to pull ahead of the Indians 4-1. The first hit came courtesy of Carbajal and the second was from Nicole Smart. Marissa Alcaraz added to the frenzy with an RBI single.
“We knew coming into this game we had to be aggressive from the start,” Carbajal said. “We knew that they were going to put up runs, but we knew we had to fight back and not let up mid-game and I think we did that.”
Gasper tripled, then Kathryn Smudde singled to drive in one run apiece in the bottom of the fifth. Megan Dragaloski hit a sacrifice groundout and Juliette Owen hit an RBI single, but Golden Valley still gripped a 6-5 lead and was looking to add to it.
The Grizzlies added a run after Sophia Medellin was hit with a pitch to open the sixth inning. Cassidy Cangemi logged an RBI single and Shanti Shannon launched a two-run double to bring the game to 10-6.
Cangemi also threw nine strikeouts on the afternoon.
Hart’s last breath of offense was a run scored on an Aly Kaneshiro sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.
“They hit the ball well, I think we hit the ball well,” said Hart coach Steve Calendo. “(We) came back, fought hard, but they made the plays at the end, but we didn’t. We’ll get it next time.”
The Grizzlies host West Ranch on Thursday, while the Indians travel to Valencia. Both games begin at 3:15 p.m.
West Ranch 12, Saugus 9
Kailey Bevan recorded a grand slam and five RBIs. Jenna Rorick pitched a complete game to go with four RBIs as the Wildcats logged their first Foothill League win of the season.
For the Centurions, Hayley Mihut was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Makayla Lopez was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Taylor Tonoian was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
West Ranch is now 15-6 and 1-4. Saugus is 13-7 and 2-3 and plays Canyon on Thursday.
Valencia 3, Canyon 0
The Vikings’ Alexis Genovese went 3-for-3 with one RBI and a double. Ally Shipman was 1-for-3 with a home run and Lani Paragas was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Kate Post, Jordan DeYoung and Meisha Murray each had hits for the Cowboys (5-15, 1-4).