Down eight in the top of the sixth inning, it was do-or-die time for Saugus as they traveled to Camarillo in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs on Thursday.
Luckily, the Centurions don’t have a “give up” button.
Scoring all of their eight runs in the sixth inning, Saugus finally found some rhythm at the plate. Amongst numerous Cents hits in the inning, Dallas Andrews hit a triple to bring in three runs before Gracie Keene hit a sacrifice fly to allow the runner at third to tag and tie the game at 8-8.
“We literally got a bunch of base hits in a row,” said Cents head coach Julie Archer. “I think that’s the most base hits in a row that we have hit all season.”
Heading into the seventh, Saugus (19-10) looked poised to take the lead but were denied by Camarillo’s pitcher, Eryka Gonzales. Gonzales finished the day pitching a complete game, giving up five earned runs on nine hits with 10 strikeouts.
“She’s a good pitcher. We stopped swinging at her rise ball and once we did that we were able to hit a lot better like we did in the eight. We just couldn’t get timely hits to break it open earlier in the game.”
With one out and runners on first and third bases, the Scorpions hit a ground ball down the third base line, allowing the runner at third to head home and beat the throw at the plate to win the game, 9-8.
“It was a bang-bang play at the plate and they just had a really fast girl on third that we weren’t able to get out at home,” Archer said.
With the win, the Scorpions (23-4) move on to the second round where they have Los Altos waiting after their first-round bye.
On the day, Dallas Andrews went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, seniors Jessica Cordola and Taylor Tonoian both went 2-for-3 and Libbie McMahan and McKenna Gibson chipped in an RBI each.
Preparing for next year, the feeling is bittersweet as Saugus loses three seniors: Jessica Cordola, Makayla Lopez and Taylor Tonoian.
“Anytime you lose seniors it’s always hard, but we do have a really young team and our bench is really strong so I think it sets up a perfect comeback,” Archer said.