Publication Date: Friday, April 01, 2005
Spartans clip Vikings in 9-0 rout
Spartans clip Vikings in 9-0 rout
(April 01, 2005) Vanek throws 3 perfect innings, strikes out 4
By Scott Campbell
Spotted a four-run lead before even setting foot on the mound, Mountain View's ace had more than enough breathing room to continue her pitching mastery. Freshman Kendra Vanek easily dispatched any and all comers to set the tone for the Spartans' 9-0 rout of host Palo Alto on March 24.
Vanek, who combined with Liz Gist to throw a perfect game against Menlo-Atherton on March 10, never allowed a ball out of the infield in retiring all nine Vikings she faced. The hurler struck out the last four batters to round out her perfect three-inning performance.
"I definitely try to strike them out," said Vanek, who recorded five strikeouts. "I try to keep a straight face and always make sure to get them off guard."
The Spartans (5-4 overall, 0-1 league) jumped on Palo Alto (1-4 overall) immediately, opening the game with a single by first baseman Alicia Olmos. After a throwing error allowed catcher Ashlee Choi to reach base, Mountain View used a double steal to set the table for the heart of its order.
Centerfielder Ana Olmos hit a sharp single to rightfield to drive in her sister, Alicia, and give the Spartans a lead three batters into the game.
"I was able to start us off with a hit to begin the game, and then the momentum just kept on rolling," said Alicia Olmos, who finished 4-5 with a double, 2 RBIs and 2 runs.
With runners at the corners, third baseman Samantha Osborne slammed a one-out double into the right-center gap, scoring Choi and Ana Olmos. Rightfielder Lauren Esteban completed the first-inning explosion, driving in Osborne with a single that fell just inside the leftfield foul line, pushing Mountain View's lead to 4-0.
"What we're trying to do to the defense when we're batting is the same thing we want to avoid when we're in the field," said Spartans coach Robert Herrera. "Put the ball in play and make the defense do some work."
Once Vanek exited with a sore shoulder, a precautionary switch due to a heavy upcoming schedule, Mountain View's defense did its part to preserve the lead.
Gist, a junior pitcher, surrendered a double and a single to start the fourth inning, but Choi gunned down Vikings centerfielder Nikki Remmel in her attempted steal of second base. Despite two walks by Gist that brought the tying run to the plate, Choi again helped the Spartans survive the inning unscathed. The senior pounced on two wild pitches that rebounded off the backstop, preventing Palo Alto speedster Sisley Brewer from scoring from third base.
The Palo Alto defense wasn't as sharp. Trailing 6-0 entering the seventh inning, the Vikings committed consecutive errors and eventually allowed three more runs before pitcher Christie Cory could retire the side.
Meanwhile, Gist settled down, allowing only two Vikings to reach base in the final three innings. Second baseman Lauren Burks turned in a couple of inning-ending gems, twice diving to her right to corral sure hits and gunning down hapless Palo Alto hitters at first base.
With their De Anza Division season about to get in full swing, the Spartans hope similar team efforts lead to a postseason run.
"Winning (our) division would be really nice, and making it to CCS," said Osborne, who finished with a pair of doubles and RBIs. "We haven't done that for a while."
Mountain View plays in the Wilcox Tournament on April 1-2 and visits league rival Los Altos on April 5.
E-mail Scott Campbell at [email protected]
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