PINOLE - El Cerrito handed Pinole Valley a decisive loss for the second time in three days on Friday afternoon, in the make-up of a previously rained out game. After routing the Spartans on Wednesday, El Cerrito used another strong pitching performance to down Pinole Valley 5-1 in the rematch. Two days before, the Gauchos beat Pinole 15-1.
El Cerrito jumped out to a two-run lead early, and used that momentum to eventually build a five-run lead in the top of the fifth inning, taking advantage of a bases-loaded situation, despite a nice catch from Spartan outfielder Hayley Bish to escape further damage. Pinole Valley scored its lone run in the bottom of the fifth inning, as senior Vivi Le crossed the plate.
The closer game was a drastic difference from two days earlier, when Meadow Marchessault led a Pinole Valley attack by going 3-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs. Junior Alyssa Chin also had three hits in the first game between the teams. Freshmen hurlers Mia Souza and Charlize Pope kept the Spartans in check, with Pope adding a triple at the plate.
Despite a pair of losses, the Spartan ladies were proud of the improvement, taking a few minutes to stretch and reflect after the game ended.
“Today’s game was a pretty good effort. The last two games that we played, we got beat real bad, but they came out and really played today. With each game, I see us getting stronger. These girls are putting the time and effort in, being on the field each day. I’m proud of them,” said Pinole Valley coach Vic Sample. “They play hard, and that’s what we’re supposed to do, play hard every game.”
The Gauchos were humble after their victory, even hanging around with the Spartan coach for a group photo before they left the dugout. The team hopes to advance to the playoffs this year, and they currently top the standings of the TCAL-Rock Division this season with a 7-1 record.
“We have really intense pitching, very young, but amazingly strong for being freshmen pitchers. We have solid depth throughout the team, and in the big moments, this team has the maturity to come through, [they’ve] proven that,” said El Cerrito coach Tim Griffith. “Great all-around team, very responsive and very athletic.”