This time when Santa Ynez softball went up 9-0, they kept Lompoc High scoreless.
In the rematch of the Feb. 22 thriller that saw a late Braves rally, the Pirates went on to defeat Lompoc 9-0 on Tuesday at LHS.
In the previous contest, Santa Ynez leaped to a 9-0 lead before the Braves nearly pulled out the miracle comeback, eventually settling for the 9-8 loss at SYHS.
But as Pirates head coach Benny Garcia pointed out, his players were more focused after getting up by nine this time against Lompoc.
“I think in a game like that, they got a chance to see that a team can come back from that,” he said. “We depended on the pitching too much and then everybody gets lackadaisical out there. We have pretty much a young team. But this right here was a good testament to hard work and everything else they’ve been putting into it.”
As it was, the Pirates lost their first game of the season against San Luis Obispo on Monday 6-2, which Garcia saw as a blessing in disguise.
“It’s because you can get too big headed. So this is a good win (against Lompoc),” Garcia said.
Lompoc’s infield and outfield started strong early. Santa Ynez’s Yesenia Vega and Lauren Swing blasted the ball toward the outfield fences. However, the Braves managed to get a double play at first and third base and then went on to prevent any early scoring during the top of the first.
Santa Ynez’s Armani Garcia, however, made sure the Braves weren’t going to get on the scoreboard either.
Armani Garcia opened the bottom of the first inning with two strikeouts and forcing a ground out. From there, the two-time Lee Central Coast Newspapers All-Area honoree stayed inside the circle and limited the amount of contact the Braves would make.
Lompoc’s biggest smashes didn’t arrive until the bottom of the fifth inning – when Heidi Cardenas hit a single to right. Hannah Larsh followed with her single that dropped inside the infield. However, Garcia ended the inning by leaving two runners stranded on third and first.
Offensively for the Pirates, Mckinzzie Grossini started the scoring for SYHS (8-1-1 overall). The right-handed batter smashed an RBI that saw the ball stretch to the center field fence, luring in the first scoring run. Vega, who started the game as the lead-off hitter, then drove two of her teammates home off of her double during a two out scenario, stretching the lead to 3-0.
The bulk of the scoring arrived in the top of the fifth.
Nicole Atiles advanced to third on her RBI smash that extended the lead to 4-0. Maggie Usher then chipped a ground ball RBI that brought Atiles home. Garcia, Sabrina Harridge, Grossini and Vega all followed in that order by providing their RBI hits that elevated the lead to 9-0.
Before the start of the softball season, Santa Ynez High had often struggled against Lompoc on the diamond – with the Pirates’ last victory over the Braves coming in March of 2012.
Now, the Pirates own two regular season wins over LHS.
Benny Garcia, though, would rather not label the Pirates as the team to beat in the Channel League – even with their current 3-0-1 league mark.
“I like being the underdog still,” Garcia said. “But anytime you’ve got good pitching, you’re going to be in all of the games. And I think that’s where it starts with our team.”
San Luis Obispo 7, Nipomo 6
The Tigers scored four unanswered runs in the top of the sixth and seventh to rally back for the win over Nipomo.
The Titans' Key-anna Pu'a went the distance inside the circle: Pitching all seven innings and striking out nine batters plus surrendering four hits.
Lisette Coria chipped in two hits on three attempts and scored two runs. Karley Camacho added a two-RBI double.
Lompoc 11, Santa Ynez 7
The Braves scored seven victories on the doubles side to edge the Pirates on Tuesday.
The No. 1 team of Jeremiah Munoz and Max Flores swept all three of their doubles contests by set scores of 6-2, 6-4 and 6-0. Lompoc’s No. 3 doubles team of Andres Servin and Anthony Espinosa also took all three set victories with scores of 7-6, 6-2 and 6-2.
Lompoc’s No. 2 doubles team of Ricardo Garay/Anthony Oseguera won one set by a score of 6-4.
On the singles side, No. 1 ace John Arevalos picked up a 6-4 win. The Braves’ No. 2 option Anthony Morales earned two victories by scores of 6-3 and 6-0.
San Marcos 3, Cabrillo 0
The Conquistadores were swept against the Royals on Tuesday. Set scores were 25-16, 25-7 and 25-16.
Chris Campos led the Conquistadores with nine kills and seven digs. Jeremy Hicks finished with five kills and four digs. Cade McNamee and Levi Robbins both had four blocks apiece.