By Kyle Foster, photos in text of story by Don Lex (LuckyDuckImages.com)
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
The Napa High softball team is moving on. On Monday they beat Bear Creek of Stockton 8-3 to get to the second round.
The Bruins (19-6) opened up the game with a run in the top of the first. Logan Asia singled and then scored on a single by Ashley Laughlin.
Napa (18-8) later answered back with a run in the bottom of the first. Grace Guzman singled and advanced to second on a Brianna Bowers sacrifice bunt before later scoring on a Peyton Mott groundout.
The Indians’ took the lead in the second by scoring a run. Kimmie Walston was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. She later scored whenGuzman reached on a single and Bear Creek second baseman Tristyn Guevara made an error trying to get Haylee Giarritta out at second.
Bear Creek scored their final two runs of the day in the top of the third. Makenna Russell singled and then was brought in on a Asia two-run blast.
After the Bruins hit the homer it was all Napa, but no moment was bigger than when senior first baseman Peyton Mott came to bat in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and two outs. She poked a single up the middle to bring in Abby Arata and Guzman.
“I was actually a little nervous, but I think that I do a lot better under pressure than otherwise because it makes myself focus more and tune in and really see the pitch,” Mott said of her crucial two out single.
The Indians put the game away with a four-run bottom of the sixth. Walston said that inning was very important to make it to where his team would be moving on.
“I didn’t want to go into that seventh inning with a one-run lead because this team’s too good,” Napa coach Ron Walston said of the importance of the big inning. “One little mistake and they’re right back in it, so it was definitely big. A couple times we left the bases loaded, but you’re not going to come through all the time — we came through when we absolutely had to, so that was huge.”
The win means Napa will face Del Campo of Fair Oaks in a rematch of last years section title game on Wednesday at 4 p.m. For the full up-to-date bracket go here.
Mott is excited for Wednesday’s rematch with the Cougars.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I think they’ll be out to get us, but I think we’re ready for it.”
Napa pitcher Jenna Baker was solid on the afternoon. She went all seven innings and giving up all three runs. She struck out four on the day as well.
“Yeah, it took her a little bit to get going, probably nerves you know the playoffs it changes the intensity a little bit, but she definitely did settle down and she made some great pitches especially in the late innings,” Walston said of Baker’s day in the circle.
“Jenna is so good,” Mott said of Baker. “She’s one of the best pitchers I’ve ever played with and I have full confidence in her in the next game also.”