By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
PASADENA – Alex Eaton proved baffling. The junior entered in the third inning for the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy softball team, just in time to stop Mayfield’s scoring spree.
Alanna Pires proved clutch. The senior third baseman opened the fourth inning with a triple and scored the Tologs’ first run. Her RBI single in the seventh tied the game, and Eaton beat the tag at home to score the winning run that completed a comeback from a six-run deficit for an 8-6 nonleague win at Brookside Park.
Mayfield (3-5) jumped ahead early with two runs in the first and four in the third, led by Katie Clancy’s three- run triple in the third that scored Jessica Parada, Lauren Armenta and Mireya Hernandez.
The Cubs appeared to be in control and on their way to an easy victory.
Eaton, however, had other plans. She took over in the circle for MacKenzie Lyng in the third and struck out six, allowing no runs and just four hits.
“I really feel she was an easier pitcher to hit than the first one,” Mayfield coach Jennifer Moulden said.
“Somehow she was keeping us off balance. I couldn’t tell by her pitches, other than I think our girls put too much pressure on ourselves.”
Flintridge Sacred Heart (4-5) coach Kirk Nishiyama called Pires, a first-team All- Mission League selection last season, “the glue” of the team, and for good reason.
Her leadoff triple in the fourth paved the way for four runs to cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-4. She capitalized on a throwing error to score while Lauren Torres reached base safely.
Molly Zwart singled in Torres, and Kelly Trueblood’s double down the third-base line scored Zwart to make it 6-3. After Alyssa Conti drew a walk and stole second, Trueblood came home on a wild pitch.
“They showed a lot of heart and didn’t give up,” Nishiyama said.
Zwart led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 6-5.
Alyssa Conti opened the seventh with a bloop single, and Eaton reached base on a bunt single to start the rally in the seventh.