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Softball drops first game of opening day double header

Jeff Moses

The Mesa Community College Softball team got off to a hot start against the Gateway Community College Geckos putting up three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

The top of the second was promising for the T-Birds who recorded two outs before the Gecko’s could respond, including an athletic play by starting pitcher Christine Napodano who went face first into the dirt after a bunt to record the second out of the side.

The Gecko’s would not be held down for long logging three runs off the bat of outfielder Katie Moreno in the side before Napodano closed it out with a strike out.

In the bottom of the second the T-Birds put up another 3 runs, Outfielder Aly Villiasenor hit an RBI single to score Katie Benford, before being sent home herself by a homerun hit by third baseman Morgan McVein, to put the birds up 6-3 at the top of the third.

The Gecko’s responded in kind with a huge 3-run homerun hit by Catcher Tiara Downs, which tied the game at six going into the bottom of the third.

In the bottom of the third the only runner was Thunderbird catcher Jessica Castro who found first base with a good hitter’s eye drawing the walk against Gecko pitcher Lindsey Roach.

In the top off the fourth T-Bird pitcher Christine Napodano experienced a total breakdown allowing the Gecko’s to score five runs on 0 hits.

In the side Napodano walked four straight Gecko’s to put the Gecko’s in the lead 7-6, and then proceeded to pitch erratically the rest of the inning including wild pitches that allowed walked Gecko’s to score.

Napodano eventually asserted a small amount of control over the situation recording a strike out to end the side with the Gecko’s up 11-6

In the dugout Napodano said “I’m not that upset, it’s just a game” about the horrendous outing against the Gecko’s.

In the bottom of the fourth McVein flashed some bat again popping a double into deep center which allowed Aly Villiasenor to score, and bring the T-Bird within 5 runs.

Going into the fifth inning head coach Wayne Hill pulled his disastrous starting pitcher for freshman Katie Gruenewald.

Gruenewald allowed 2 hits but also recorded 2 strikes out before ending the side by forcing a ground out in her first relief inning of the season, sending the Thunderbirds into the bottom of the fifth trialing 11-6

The t-birds put up another 3 runs while holding the Gecko’s to just one more behind the arm of Gruenwald.

Game two of the double header was called on account of darkness the ladies of Mesa were leading 2-0.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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