By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
PASADENA – Batting in the bottom of the order can be just as invigorating as the top of the order.
St. Paul High School’s Bryanna Campos and Dominique Walker made that point in a Del Rey League softball game on Tuesday afternoon.
“I just take every opportunity I have to prove myself,” Campos said. “Ninth, sixth, whatever. You have to make the most of it.”
Campos, batting in the ninth spot, went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Walker, moving up to fifth after batting sixth for most of the season, went 4 for 5 with a solo home run to power the Swordsmen to a 9-5 victory over host La Salle at Pasadena’s LDS field.
“We have good contact everywhere in the lineup,” Walker said. “In the end, everybody is in the same spot.”
The Swordsmen had 15 hits and relied on a seven-run third inning to remain in the thick of the league race. St. Paul is 4-1, a half-game behind league-leading Bishop Amat. La Salle is 1-3-1 in league play, still battling for third.
“That bottom of the lineup really produced for us,” St. Paul coach Roberta Argott said.
It was junior shortstop Campos who seemed to really provide the Swordsmen’s spark.
“She’s been fluctuating up and down the lineup,” Argott said. “She’s been producing for us, but at times, she has struggled a little bit. We gave her some release by being in the ninth spot.
“One through nine, we need every batter. She takes on that No. 9 role and produces as if she is the No. 4 batter.”
With a runner on first base because of an error, she singled into the right-field alley to break a scoreless second-inning tie. With the bases loaded in the third inning, she hit a double into the left-center field alley to score two runs.
St. Paul, which was coming off three consecutive nonleague losses, sent 11 batters to the plate in the third. The Swordsmen had eight hits.
“I was proud of our girls for being aggressive and patient as well,” Argott said. “Let (La Salle pitcher Paula Damas) do all the work.”
The bottom three Swordmen’s hitters got on base on seven of 12 at-bats.
La Salle did not make a dent in starting pitcher Koreen Orozco until the fourth inning.
Freshman Vanessa Dwyer doubled in a run and a throwing error on Alexi Zate’s bunt scored two runs. Riley Worley singled in Zate to make it 8-4.