Zebras get back on track with win over Franklin
ELK GROVE _ Lincoln High’s softball team fought out of a three-game losing streak by tipping Franklin 3-2 on the Wildcats’ diamond March 21.
The south Sacramento club out hit the Zebras 9-6 but couldn’t make it count. Lincoln’s defense and sophomore pitcher Avery Little stranded 10 runners to disappoint Franklin fans.
The Zebras’ Abi Lund would not be denied getting three hits, one a triple, and scoring each time to provide the winning margin. Lund is leading her young teammates this season with a .556 batting average.
Sophomore Justina Thompson has been stepping up her performance at the plate and was 2-for-3 to include a double. She also and a run batted in and is hitting at a .324 clip.
Halle Esparza was credited with two of Lincoln’s runs batted in. Esparza was at the plate when Lund stole home and she drove in Lund with a single.
LINCOLN 3, FRANKLIN 2
Zebras 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 – 3
Wildcats 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 – 2
Lincoln – Thompson 2-3, 2b, 1bi, Lund 3-4, 3b, 3r, Esparza 1-4, 2bi, Bleichwehl 1-2.
DEL CAMPO 2, LINCOLN 1
A close play at the plate in the seventh inning was the only difference in a pitcher’s duel as Lincoln lost 2-1 to Del Campo earlier last week.
Despite taking the loss, Alyssa Rodriguez pitched exceptional for seven innings, allowing four hits and no base-on-balls.
Rodriguez’s afternoon started rough as the sophomore loaded the bases with one out. A challenge was issued from Lincoln head coach Donna Tofft on a visit to the mound.
“Tell me to get off this mound,” said Tofft, addressing Rodriguez in the first inning. “She rose to the challenge and finished the game.”
Following the visit, Rodriguez set down the next eight Cougars.
After allowing an unearned run to score in the fourth inning, Lincoln’s sole senior, Abi Lund, proceeded to tie the game in the fifth inning.
With two outs, Lund hit the ball deep to left field and tied the game with an in-the-park home run.
Rodriguez maintained the tie until the seventh inning when opposing pitcher Megan Wantz tripled with one out. On the next play, Wantz narrowly beat a relay throw from Lund to catcher Shye Mosier to score the winning run.
Lincoln had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the inning when Alexis Bleichwehl singled. She stole second base to set up the tying run.
Lund was the last to come to bat with two outs and drove the ball deep but the Cougars’ center fielder was able to catch up to it, make the play and seal Del Campo’s win.
The loss was the Zebras’ third-straight and fourth of the season by one run. However, Tofft was quick to point out her team’s growth.
“The first three or four games, we were giving extra outs and averaging about six errors,” said Tofft. “We’re in these games now. We’re almost there, but I want to get over the hump.”