Varsity softball defeats Los Altos

Varsity softball defeated Los Altos 14-4 at a home game Friday, March 16. This was the first time in ten seasons that the Mustangs won against the Conquerors since playing in the Hacienda League together.

Center fielder senior Bailey Rivas led the team with three runs and two runs batted in (RBI), followed by left fielder junior Ricki Garay and shortstop senior Princess Matavao with two runs and two RBIs each.

“We were able to get into the mindset of ‘Let’s just go out there,’” Garay said. “We’ve been having that fighter mentality. We just came in, ready to beat this team.”

Following Los Altos’ at bat during the fourth inning, Garay scored a run, gaining Walnut a 2-1 lead. In the fifth inning, Walnut increased its lead 5-1 after completing three runs.

“During the middle [of the game], I was a little scared. I was jumpy because I was ahead of the ball. Once we got it together and fixed all of our mistakes, I felt good and really confident that we were going to win,” Rivas said.

At bat, Los Altos finished three runs to close the gap 5-4 in the fifth inning. First baseman sophomore Marley Manalo switched positions to pitch, preventing Los Altos from scoring another run.

“I was very nervous because that’s a lot of pressure. I just knew that I had to pick up on my teammates and just suck in the sadness because they were gaining on me,” Manalo said.

“None of us threw a pity party on ourselves. We just needed to bring up the happiness to win.”

After Walnut scored six runs at bat, Matavao finished a small ball offensive play, which focuses on advancing runners to scoring positions through individual runs, to help the team gain three more runs and end the game 14-4. The game was shortened to six innings by the 10-run mercy rule.

“We’ve been losing in the past, but then this year we’ve been winning a lot,” Garay said. “This year, we just came together and thought, ‘This is our year.’”

By Amy Lo, Staff Writer                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo by Annika Le