Glassford shuts down Panthers; winning their season opener 6-3

After+defeating+the+Burlingame+High+School+panthers%2C+the+varsity+softball+team+poses+for+a+picture+with+smiles+on+their+faces.+The+team+shut+down+the+panthers+6-3+with+exceptional+pitching+from+Julia+Saul+and+Casey+Glassford.

Paul Bienaimé

After defeating the Burlingame High School panthers, the varsity softball team poses for a picture with smiles on their faces. The team shut down the panthers 6-3 with exceptional pitching from Julia Saul and Casey Glassford.

Paul Bienaimé, Staff Writer

With new coach George Marshall, the Palo Alto High School softball team took on Burlingame High School at home for their season opener. Having lost to the the Panthers last year 12-2, the Vikings were motivated to take the victory back, and did so by shutting the panthers down 6-3.

The Lady Vikes quickly put numbers on the board by running in Maya Padilla (’13) in the bottom of the second. Padilla got on base with a ground ball, advanced with a stolen base, then ran into home on a fielder’s error by the Panthers. The Lady Vikes then led the scoreboard 1-0 at the end of the second.

The team wants to recuperate from last year’s season with the help of a new coach and players.

“This season we have an entirely new coach and everyone is working a lot harder than they were last year,”  starting pitcher Julia Saul (’14) said. “Things are obviously going much better as we saw during this game.”

Shortstop Hannah Bundy (’14) started the top of the fourth with two quick ground balls to her then gunned to first for the outs. However, the Panthers came back with two base hits and ran in a player, tying the game 1-1. Saul then shut down the inning with a strikeout right down the middle. Bundy believes the Vikings’ pitching game was crucial to their win.

“I thought it went pretty well,” Bundy said. “We started out slow but our pitchers pitched a really good game and everyone on our team contributed.”

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, a ball was pitched past the catcher’s mitt when Padilla stole home to take the lead back from the panthers. The fourth inning was ended by a pop fly to right field caught by a Panther. The score was 2-2 at the end of the fourth.

Saul was relieved by pitcher Casey Glassford (’15) in the top of the fifth. The Panthers earned another run when the ball was hit deep into outfield and a runner on third ran to home. With the game now led by the Panthers 2-3, Tori Destefano (’14) steped up to the plate leading off the bottom of the fifth. Saul was clearly satisfied with her team’s performance.

“Everybody is playing good defense,” Saul said. “We kept our errors to a minimum which was a really big problem last year. Everybody is playing good defense.”

Glassford then hit a line drive straight over the pitchers head to get on first with one out. Bundy brought the Lady Vikes back up by hitting a ball out to center field past the fielders glove, bringing in Glassford for a run. The fifth inning ends with the game tied 3-3.

On a roll, Glassford quickly cuts the panthers short from their sixth inning, restricting them from getting on base.

On the first pitch of the sixth inning, Saul got on base and advanced to second after a bunt by Anna Rizza (’13), and then ran herself in on a fielder’s error. With two people on base, Destefano hit a laser to left field, bringing the runners home and placing herself on third base. Destefano’s RBIs brought the Vikings to a 6-3 lead. Destefano reflects the positive changes and vibe of this year’s team.

“We’re all much more motivated this year,” Destefano said. “I stepped up to the plate and I wanted to hit the ball more than ever.”

The inning was ended when Glassford was caught stealing second. She then shut the panthers offense down with two ground-outs and a strikeout to take the Lady Vikes to their first victory of the season.

This game was not a league game and did not count towards the Vikings’ league standings. The Lady Vikes will be playing their next game this Saturday at home for a scrimmage against Aragon High School.

Casey Glassford (’15) closes down the Burlingame High School panthers after starting pitcher Julia Saul (’14) brought them to a 3-3 tie. The Vikings will play their next game this Saturday against Aragon High School.