Sandy gets much-needed victory over St. Helens
SANDY — Sandy head coach Kayla Anderson had been waiting all season to see her team play a complete game both offensively and defensively.
That moment finally came for the Pioneers in their game against St. Helens.
Five strong innings in the circle from Jamey Wolf and a 3-for-4 performance at the plate by Brooklyn Adams helped Sandy claim the 7-3 win over St. Helens on Tuesday, April 24.
"I think we were waiting for that moment where we realized that we could put all of it together to be successful as a team," Anderson said. "I think we showed that tonight."
St. Helens also got a solid pitching performance from freshman right-hander Elise Gump, but the Lions made key errors in some crucial stretches, which made Gump throw more pitches than needed.
"We had some flukey things happen to us defensively that we normally don't see," St. Helens head coach Miranda Little said. "Some of our players who have a fielding percentage of 1.000 made a couple errors, which kind of threw everyone off a bit."
The Lions got on the board in the top of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Brooklynn Mercier led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Mercier was able to score from second on a throwing error by Sandy third baseman Jenna Eslinger.
After getting out of trouble in the bottom of the first, Gump looked like she was going to throw a scoreless frame in the second inning as well when she retired the first two Sandy hitters in the frame. That is, until Samantha Brewster stepped to the plate.
Brewster, who is used to hitting in the middle of the lineup due to her great power, had been struggling as of late as was moved to the eighth-spot in the order. But after falling behind in the count, Brewster crushed a towering fly ball to the alley in left center field. The ball just cleared the fence by a couple feet for a solo bomb Sandy that tied the game at 1-1.
"It felt really good, especially since I haven't been hitting well," Brewster said about the home run. "It was a really big pickup. I thing it was a confidence booster."
The Pioneers would load up the bases later in the inning on a walk and a pair of errors. Gump would then walk in a run after giving up a free pass to Leslie Main, granting Sandy the 2-1 lead.
St. Helens would surrender another unearned run in the bottom of third when Jordan Ellinger would score from second after an error by Gump.
"We were starting to get in our heads," Gump said. "I thought I pitched pretty well today, but I definitely could have been better. We just need to do a better job cleaning up our errors."
Sandy would get three more runs in the fourth — highlighted by a two-run double by Alejandra Oretga — and another one in the sixth.
Look for extended coverage in the May 2 edition.