Softball cruises past Santa Clara on senior day, 16-8

Alan Lamarque, Web Editor

The Palo Alto High School softball team (9-15, 6-5), with strong bats and base running, defeated the Santa Clara Bruins on senior day at Paly this Saturday.

Pitcher Julia Saul (’14) threw 20 pitches in the first inning, grounding out two hitters and allowing one base hit before the runner was thrown out at second.

The Lady Vikes’ defense kept the Bruin scoreless threw the first two innings before Mikaela Ebner (’12) drove in an RBI to put Santa Clara on the board.

Meanwhile, the Lady Vikes came out with swinging bats as Anna Gale (’24) got on base for Paly with one out in the bottom of the third. Two balls pitched to Gracie Marshall (’11) allowed Gale to steal second and third base before Marshall drove her home with a single down the left side.

Marshall was then moved up to second by Hannah Bundy (’14) and scored off an erratic pitch to Grace Stafford (’11). Bundy also scored off a ball followed by Stafford, driven in by Mariah Phillips (’11) who was tagged out at first. Saul’s pop fly ended the inning with Paly leading 4-0.

Then, Saul and the Paly defense ended the Santa Clara inning in four batters bringing the game to the bottom of the second.

Anna Rizza (’13) led off for the Lady Vikes, getting a base hit to left field and stealing second after teammate Emily Swanson (’12) flew out. Gale was able to send Rizza home and loaded up the bases with Marshall and Bundy all of which scored as a result of Stafford’s double before the inning ended.

The defense for Paly softened up a little bit as the Bruins scored 4 runs in the third inning, but the Lady Vikes answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Athena Huang (’11) who had her first hit of the season, bunted and outran the defense’s pitch to make it to first. Huang then stole second and third base as Maya Padilla (’13) was walked. The two were then driven in by Gale for her second and third RBI’s. Huang and Gale hit 2-3 and 4-4 respectively combining for 3 RBI’s.

Huang credits some of her success the coaching of head coach Tim Anderson.

“It’s been great, Coach Anderson it really passionate, always jumping around and yelling, its really been a joy,” Huang said.

Erratic pitches then brought in Gale and Marshall for a 12-4 Paly lead at the end of the inning.

Once again the Bruins threatend to make a comeback by score four more runs in the fourth and holding Paly scoreless for an inning, but the Vikings stopped them short again when Ashley Barry (’12) and Gale reached base.

The Ensuing pitch was to Marshall who blasted the ball threw center field for a three-run homer and the first home-run of the season for the team. Marshall, a graduating senior finished the day 4-4 hitting with 4 RBI’s.

” We’ve [the four year seniors have] been so blessed,” Marshall said. “Before, when we got here, the coaching was horrible and the team was terrible.”

Marshall also appreciated the support of the underclassmen effort to fill some of the holes left by last years seniors.

“Without Kelly [Jenks (’10)] its been hard, but Julia has been great and Hannah, this was only her second game pitching and she did great,” Marshall said.

The Lady Vikes did not give up a run after the fifth inning and ended the regular season at home with a 16-8 win over the Bruins.

The team will play a final league game against Homestead on May 12.