LA PUENTE — Bishop Amat High School didn’t exactly look like the best softball team in the area Tuesday afternoon.
But as far as the Lancers are concerned, winning is the top priority, and Bishop Amat lived up to that billing against Northview.
Sophomore Alexis Gonzalez lined an RBI single to right field to score Alma Cortez in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Lancers a 2-1 victory over the visiting Vikings in nonleague game.
Senior Natalie Sanchez gave up six hits and struck out 10 to help Bishop Amat, ranked No. 1 in the Valley and in CIF-Southern Section Division 3, improve to 8-1.
Northview, which had tied it at 1 on an RBI single by Mercedes Menchaca in the fifth, slipped to 8-5.
Here’s the post-game interviews from the Bishop Amat side:
The interview with Northview coach Jeff Butler is after the jump:
“We had twelve days off, and it showed,” Bishop Amat coach Jesse Mendez said. “Natalie kept us in the game, striking out 10. But we were pressing with the bats.
“Defensively, we made a couple of mistakes. But overall, I’m satsified with the ‘W.’ Northview’s a good team, they are well-coached. But again, coming out with the ‘W’ is always important.”
The Lancers got it by taking advantage of a key Northview error in the seventh.
Alma Cortez led off the inning with a bunt single. Katie Cunningham flied to center. But Cortez was able to advance to second when first baseman Suzette Ortega couldn’t hand Menchaca’s low throw from center field.
Sanchez, who hit a home run just inside the left-field foul pole for a 1-0 lead in the third, was walked intentionally. Gonzalez followed with a line drive near the line in right that easily scored Cortez for the 2-1 victory.
“It’s just about staying within ourself and doing what we always do in practice,” said Gonzalez after getting her only hit of the day. “You just want to keep your mind set in that situation, go up there, get a pitch and drive it. We pulled it out.”
Sanchez also played a role. She struck out 10 and turned away a Northview scoring chance in the second and limited the Vikings to just one run during a rally in the fifth.
The Vikings, who got two hits from Haley Gomez, loaded the bases with two outs in the second following a pair of walks and a hit-batter.
But Sanchez induced Jazmin Chavez to ground out to end the threat.
Northview was it’s worst enemy in the fifth after putting runners on second and third with one out following a single by Gomez and a double by Erinn Jaramillo.
But Gomez broke for home and was tagged out by catcher Jackie Carlin. Menchaca followed with a single scoring Jaramillo to tie it at 1.
“They are ranked No. 1 in their division for a reason,” Northview coach Jeff Butler said. “We made an error at third, and error at short. Those didn’t hurt us much. But that last inning, that little bunt we should have played, then mis-played a ball at first base, which put the runner in scorning position. But that stuff happens.”