By Uriel Ortega |Staff Writer|
Coyotes softball swept No. 12 against St. Martin’s during last Sunday’s doubleheader in their season opener at the Coyote park field.
The Coyotes made a statement by defeating one of the best teams of the north with precise pitching, great defense and timely hits.
Coyotes Coach Tacy Duncan improved her team in the off-season by adding transfer players. The team’s new additions gave the team a bright future, with new talents.
“We have worked very hard on pitching, very hard on hitting, and increased our strength and condition program,” said Duncan in preparation for the 2014 season.
Freshman Cassandra Williams gave the Coyotes their first win of the season as she pitched a near perfect game in her collegiate debut.
Williams set the momentum for the Coyotes defense in the first inning by holding off her first two hitters and striking out the third.
“She is going to be a huge force for us especially as a freshman. She is only going to get better,” said Duncan.
The Coyotes wasted no time at the plate as freshman Kristin Lopez and junior Mary Menicucci both hit singles to set up the scoring run. A wild pitch by the Saints would advance Lopez to third base and Menicucci to second.
Junior Tiffany McIntosh was walked loading up the bases for Thalia Ortiz.
Ortiz hit a single to right field advancing all the runners and allowing Lopez to score.
At the bottom of the second inning, junior Victoria Lievanos’s infield hit, followed by another single from senior Darian Manuz put runners on first and second base.
With runners in scoring position, the Coyotes Nicole Nobbe pinch-hit for Ramos.
Nobbe came through, as she ripped the ball into left field for a two-run run batted in (RBI), giving the Coyotes 3-0 lead.
In the seventh and final inning, the Saints got their first score and set runners up in scoring position, but Williams’ pitching would retire the Saints for a 3-1 win.
The Coyotes got a short break in preparation for their second game of the doubleheader. Duncan was very happy with the team’s performance but knew they would need to keep the momentum.
Duncan said that solid defense, great pitching and timely hits would be needed in order to win again.
The second game was almost a mirror image of the first with great pitching and clutch hitting. Coyote’s pitcher Stephanie Luhman was fantastic for six innings, only allowing five hits and two runs.
In the bottom of the second, Williams scored on a wild pitch after a base hit and a sacrifice bunt by Lievanos. During the sixth inning, the Coyotes would score two more times with back-to-back bases loaded.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Saints would narrow the score with two runs. Williams would relieve Luhman and get the save to finish the game at 3-2.
The sweep was a great start for the Coyotes as they continue to improve and remain optimistic about the rest of the season.