By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The Wildcats’ (10-2, 1-0) bats exploded against Canyon (4-4, 0-1) in their highest-scoring mark of the season.
West Ranch was led Tuesday by leadoff hitter Savannah Gatewood, who finished 3-4.The sophomore was a big part of two huge rallies for the Wildcats in the third and seventh inning.
Canyon starting pitcher Jessica Carr was throwing heat to start. The freshman had four of her seven strikeouts in West Ranch’s first trip through the order.
Then in the third inning, the Cats came alive in a rally started by a Schalyn Rambo single. The team would then go through the order as head coach Phil Giarrizzo’s team got seven consecutive batters on base with just one out.
“It’s all about adjustments sometimes,” said Giarrizzo. “If you can make the adjustments, you’re going to do better. If you can’t, you’re stuck in a rut.”
Senior Addie Ferguson was walked with the bases loaded before a wild pitch brought in another run for West Ranch.
Ferguson has been off catching duties with an ankle injury but still managed to put together solid at bats.
Suddenly, the team down 4-0 was looking at a five-run lead.
Canyon nearly responded with the bases loaded, but Cats first baseman Paige Pikor registered an unassisted double play with a line-out catch.
West Ranch pitcher Emma Watford then gave the Cowboys nothing in the fourth with a 1-2-3 inning. Watford threw two perfect innings in her complete game win.
The Wildcats furthered the beatdown throughout the game, scoring in every inning from the third on with an extra kick of six runs at the end in the seventh.
“Every at bat, every inning, we try to win the inning,” said Ferguson. “That’s our saying, ‘We win innings.’”
The Cowboys would have their chances to close the gap but the Cats’ smart infielders were able to produce double plays when they needed to.
“I thought we started good but we let our mistakes pile up,” said Canyon head coach Todd Wensley. “Against a good team like West Ranch, you can’t do that.”
Wensley is hopeful the Cowboys will rebound from this loss after his team got a little relaxed going up 4-0 early. The team only has three seniors and is still getting in the groove of playing competitively as a team.
Canyon was led by Danielle Rodriguez, who hit in her first two at bats but finished 2-5.
“I’m feeling really lucky this season,” said Ferguson. “I’m super excited for my senior season. I feel like we just keep going and we have each others’ back. I’m excited to see what happens.”