The building year continued for the Mesa softball team on April 1, as the very young T-bird squad came up just short against a surging Central Arizona College.The Lady T-birds out hit the Vaqueros, but a 2-run blast gave Central the momentum, eventually winning the contest 2-1.
The game was a chance for revenge for outfielder Heather Eichenberger, who was on the Central Arizona roster last year.
“She has been looking forward to this day,” said her father during the game.
Eichenberger ended the game 1-4, with a single, leaving more frustration for a possible future match-up.
It was a pitchers duel from the start as both teams failed to drive in runs when it counted most.
Mesa left eight women on base, including five of which were in scoring position.
The first real threat came in the bottom of
the third when Mesa had runners on first and second with nobody out.
They were able to move the runners to second and third, but failed to score.
The frustration continued into the next inning as Central Arizona towered a two-run blast off pitcher Krystal Ruiz.
Mesa once again produced two runners in the bottom half, but again failed to get a hit when it counted most.
Mesa eventually saw some life when Ruiz hit a one out double in the bottom of the sixth.
After an out, starting short stop Gabriela Renteria came to the plate and delivered a huge RBI single, putting Mesa only down one.
The seventh was no different for Mesa. They again had the opportunity to drive in a run.
After two quick outs, outfielder Emily Farrier singled, leaving the game in Theresa Tautimez’s hands.
She didn’t disappoint as the sophomore produced a huge single, putting Farrier on third.
However, the rally ended with a game ending strike out, once again letting a tough game slip by for the Lady T-birds.
Mesa Head Coach Dewight Byron still has plenty to be proud of as Mesa enters the final stretch of their season.
The team is predominately freshmen and all the women have showed signs of improvement since the beginning of the season.
Freshman Gabriela Renteria had a break out game by going 2-3, including the RBI single she had in the sixth.
The freshman from Red Mountain high school would be the only player to get two hits in the game.
More upside for Mesa was starting pitcher Krystal Ruiz’ performance.
Though she gave up the timely two run home run in the fourth inning, she had a strong outing.
She ended with seven innings pitched, yielding only five hits.
More importantly, she showed early game dominance by not giving up a hit until the fourth inning.
She also struck out five on the day.
Also getting hits was Adriana Wortley, who went 1-3 in the game, and freshman Heather Johnson, who finished the game going 1-4.