High School Softball: One turns out to be enough for El Rancho

By John Sherrard, Correspondent

PICO RIVERA – Runs were at a premium in Thursday’s Del Rio League softball game between El Rancho and Santa Fe high schools.

Only one run was scored as both pitchers took different paths for the final result.

Santa Fe senior right-hander Brittany Gonzalez allowed one hit in a 1-0 loss at El Rancho while sophomore Jackie De Loza (six strikeouts) allowed base runners in every inning but the seventh for the victory.

El Rancho, the Daily News fifth-ranked team, improved to 9-7 overall and 3-1 in league. Santa Fe fell to 5-6 and 1-3.

“It was an amazing game with my pitcher Jackie,” El Rancho coach A.J. Reyes said. “She worked, hit her spots, she was unbelievable (Thursday).

“Their pitcher (Gonzalez) did a great job keeping us off-balance.”

The Dons, who remained a game behind league-leading La Serna, won it in the bottom of the seventh when pinch-runner Jazmine Sanchez scored after a grounder to short by freshman Janessa Lozano, who had the Dons’ only hit.

Sanchez, who was injured on the play when she slid under the tag by the Santa Fe catcher, was carried off the field by Reyes.

Dons junior catcher Aiyana Leal-Robles opened the inning with a grounder to Santa Fe third baseman Alexxis Ponce, who bobbled the ball and threw wide to first to allow the runner to advance to second.

Ponce then just missed a short pop-up by shortstop Destiny Cervantes in foul territory. Cervantes then sacrificed Sanchez to third to set up the winning run.

“Like my coach said, `Who is going to jump on that grenade?’ And I felt I should jump on it and help my team out for that winning run,” Sanchez said.

The Chiefs loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out.

Junior right fielder Jillian Saiza (1 for 2) opened the inning with a walk, followed by a throwing error that allowed both runners to advance to second and third.

After an intentional walk to sophomore centerfielder Myranda Bueno (1 for 1, two stolen bases), De Loza struck out pinch hitter Carly Gutierrez and Ponce flied out.

“My main goal was just to hit my spots as much as I could and execute in the situation that I was in,” said De Loza, who improved to 4-3.

“She pitched a great game (Thursday),” Santa Fe coach Randi Berg said. “It’s just a tough loss and hard to explain. We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities with runners in scoring position.”

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