By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter@sgvtribpreps
Bonita is usually one of those high school softball teams that bursts out of the gate.
But adjusting to life after departed seniors Courtney Gano and Breeanna Sandoval
created some growing pains for the young Bearcats.
The player that needed to step-up the most and regain some of that swagger was sophomore pitcher Anissa Sanchez, and she was all that for Bonita in a 6-2 win over West Covina on Friday to keep the Bearcats’ bid for a third straight league title in check.
After Sanchez gave up two runs in the first inning she was steady the rest of the way. She gave up five hits, but never more than one in any inning — no easy task against the hard-swinging Bulldogs.
“What’s so hard is I’ve turned over the reigns of pitch-calling to them (Sanchez and catcher Michelle Whitt),” Bonita coach Ken Carlson said. “I’m letting them manage their games and they’re doing a good job.
“I’m freaking out in the dugout while it’s going on, but I have to give Anissa a lot of credit. She’s battling every inch of the way and doing a great job for us.”
Bonita (14-6, 7-1) moved into a first-place tie in the Hacienda League with Los Altos (15-6, 7-1) while dropping West Covina (12-8, 7-2) a half-game behind. (To continue click thread).
Bonita travels to Los Altos on Tuesday for sole possession of first.
West Covina’s Summer Knight singled home Alexis Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez’s ground out scored Taylor Castro to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the first.
With Corrina Liscano on third and Liza Liddel breaking from first with two outs in the second, the throw to get Liddel sailed into center, allowing Liscano and Liddel to score to tie the game, 2-2.
Bonita freshman outfielder Chloe Melanson showed her power with a solo homer in the third inning, and after singling to lead off the fifth, Melanson later scored on Whitt’s double to stretch the Bearcats’ lead to 4-2.
After Veronica Ortega’s double drove in Liddel in the sixth, Jazzlyn Costa punctuated the victory with a double in the seventh — her second of the game — and later scored to give Bonita a comfortable four-run lead.
“It was certainly a game where you can’t blink much,” Carlson said. “We knew they would come hard and we had to come hard.
“I felt that we had more to prove coming into this game than they did. By the way we started our season, you have to give our girls credit. They have battled every step of the way to get back to this point where we can fight for another league title.”