Softball lets lead slip away against Temple City

Story by Jayden Tran and Benjamin Regan 
Staff Writer, Sports Editor 

Photos by Rachel (Shin-Hye) Choi
Staff Photographer

The SPHS Softball team played against the league-leading Temple City Rams on Monday, April 24 at the Temple City softball field. Despite a strong start to the game, the team ultimately fell short in their league contest against Temple City by a score of 8-2.

In the first inning, the Tigers seized an early lead against the Rams. Sophomore Natalie Kan hit a sharp grounder up the middle and reached first base. Freshman Lucia Atencio bunted the ball, allowing Natalie to advance to second base and Atencio to get to first.

Sophomore Emma Becerra brought home Kan with an RBI groundout. The Tigers extended their lead on an RBI single by junior Danica Stirling. The Tigers lead the Rams 2-0 after the top of the first.

Kan toed the rubber for the Tigers, and turned in a strong outing. In the bottom of the first inning, Temple City chipped away and scored a run, cutting the lead in half. After the first inning, the Tigers clung to a 2-1 lead. 

In the ensuing innings, the Tiger bats went cold. A single by senior Melina Becerra was the only offensive spark for the South Pasadena, but she was left stranded. Dominant pitching from Temple City kept South Pasadena off the scoreboard.

The Tigers, however, matched the Rams inning-for-inning. Kan continued to induce weak contact, and South Pasadena’s defense backed up her. E. Becerra, Stirling, junior Daphne Malatesta, and junior Leilah Nolasco turned in stellar defensive plays. The Tigers lead 2-1 heading into the sixth inning. 

Everything imploded for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth, with the Rams exploding for seven runs on six hits. The game was turned on its head, with Temple City taking a commanding 8-2 lead heading into the last inning. 

The lead held and Temple City defeated South Pasadena 8-2. Despite the lopsided score, the Tigers competed for six innings and held a lead for the majority of the game. 

“We fought hard and had them until the sixth inning [by a score of] 2-1,” Kan said. “Being part of the two hit run was very exciting because it would not have happened without my team. We were always the team that people looked down upon and we were called the underdogs, but this year we showed them that we are a new team now.”

The Tigers will face off  against the Rams in their final league game on Thursday, April 27 at the SPHS softball field. With a win, the Tigers would secure third place in the Rio Hondo league, surpassing the Monrovia Wildcats and qualifying for CIF.

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