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Softball defeats Diamond Ranch

Varsity softball defeated Diamond Ranch 5-0 at a home game Wednesday, May 10.

The game was Walnut’s first win in the Hacienda League in three years. The team was able to keep a consistent pace throughout the nine innings, with an additional two home runs to finish off the season. The four seniors on the team were commemorated as part of their senior night as well.

“[It] definitely felt like it was going to be a different game,” third baseman junior Melissa Flores said. “A part of me felt I needed to put in that extra effort for [the seniors]. Our team had just [faced] some adversity. During this game, we definitely had to put all that aside to pull out that first and last win of the softball season.”

During the first inning, pitcher senior Cameron Salas struck out three of the Panthers’ hitters. A few minutes after Walnut came up to bat, second baseman senior Brianna Roach scored the first run for the team.

“My mind was extremely focused on each play knowing where to go if I got the ball or where I needed to be to help my teammates and just keep up the cheering and momentum so we would continue on winning each inning,” Roach said. “It was really special, how the fans were cheering for us and how exciting the game was for all the players.”

Shortstop junior Gianna Chavez kept the streak alive when she stepped up to bat, and hit a home run in the third inning. She continued on to complete two more runs for the Mustangs in the latter parts of the game as well.

“Softball is a very mental game, and while we were on defense, I was going through all of the possible situations in my head to prepare for the play,” Chavez said. “I also wanted to leave my heart out on the field. I wanted to give it my all because although I’m not a senior and it wasn’t my last softball game, this season has been extremely difficult and stressful, so it seemed fitting to end it off on a high note.”

In the last inning, the Mustangs had two outs with runners on both first and third bases. After the last ball was hit, Chavez and Roach finished the play, signaling the end of the game and securing the victory for Walnut.

“We had tears in our eyes as my whole team ran to the middle and surrounded us,” Chavez said. “We had all cheered and were screaming our lungs out because we had finally won a game.”

By Ashley Liang, Staff writer
Photo by Airi Gonzalez