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SOFTBALL: Tigers score 20 in league debut, remain undefeated

Woodlake Tigers pitcher throws ten strikeouts in four innings to shut down Orosi Cardinals

WOODLAKE – The Woodlake Tigers scored nine runs in the second inning to win their first league game against the Orosi Cardinals. The Tigers are undefeated after 14 games this season.

The Tigers continued their undefeated season with a 20-1 defeat of the Cardinals on Tuesday, April 11. This was the Tigers’ second league game and their 14th win of the season. They played an impressive second inning, scoring nine runs before the Cardinals were able to get three outs that put them up 12-0 before the Cardinals even got a hit. Pitcher Audrina Rodriguez threw three strikeouts in a row in both the first and second innings, effectively shutting down the Cardinals’ offense and leading the Tigers to a win.

“They’re probably not where we want them to be going into league play, but they did their job [today],” Woodlake head coach Ramon Lara said.

In addition to shutting down the Tigers by striking out three batters in a row in the first two innings, Rodriguez actually struck out 10 batters over the course of the four innings that she pitched. She didn’t allow a single hit until the third inning, when sophomore Sarai Pantaleon got a base hit after the two previous batters struck out. She was ninth in the lineup but it was Pantaleon’s first at bat of the game because Rodriguez was so effective at striking out the Cardinals.

The Tigers were just as dominant on offense as they were on defense from the beginning of the game. Freshman Ella Lara led off the Tigers at bat and after three balls and one strike, got a base hit. The Tigers made it all the way to the end of their lineup before the Cardinals were able to get three outs and scored three runs along the way.

In the second inning, Ella Lara started off the lineup again and after three balls, got a base hit. Eight out of the nine players in the lineup scored runs and sophomore Evelyn Acosta scored two runs, because by the time the Cardinals got three outs, the Tigers had made it halfway through their batting order again. There were no strikeouts, all three outs came from pop up balls or tag outs on base.

“It’s a good, young team overall,” Ramon Lara said. “We only have one junior and one senior. They’re coming along. We’re in a good spot going into league play so we’re excited about it.”

The Tigers continued their dominance for the rest of the game, but eased up on offense after pulling ahead by 12 runs before the third inning. By the fifth, freshman Marriah Ellis replaced Rodriguez at pitcher to get some practice in while the team was ahead. She threw one strikeout and only two balls overall. The next two batters were thrown out at first.

The Tigers are 1-0 in league play after this game. Over spring break, they won the Woodlake Tournament, beating Sierra, Sanger West, Delano and Strathmore. They faced Sanger West twice, beating them the second time for the championship.

“The girls responded really well in some tight games,” Ramon Lara said. “They beat Sanger West 2-1 in the championship game. We’re excited for how they did in the tough game. We haven’t had a lot of those.”

The Tigers are currently at the top of the East Sequoia League with a 1-0 league record, but are still working hard in anticipation of tough opponents like Lindsay, Orange Cove and Corcoran. Lindsay has one of the best pitchers in the league while Orange Cove and Corcoran both have winning records. Orange Cove has been winning by an average of 12 runs per game.

Woodlake will travel to Orange Cove for their first meeting on April 13.

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