By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
When you get your first win of the season it’s nice — it’s even nicer when it comes against you crosstown rival. Vintage got their first win of the season Friday afternoon against Napa High by a score of 8-4.
“We got outplayed plain and simple,” Napa coach Ron Walston said of the Big Game loss. “We don’t hit, we don’t play defense, it’s kinda hard to win.”
The win is the first for Crusher first-year coach Cat Guidry.
“It was our first win, and it couldn’t be against a better team,” a enthusiastic Guidry explained. “I mean Napa, they came out the first game and dominated — I think it was 13-3, and they might’ve thought they were going to do the same thing, but we we weren’t having it, we were coming in and we weren’t going down without a fight, and that’s exactly what we did today, and I thought ‘it’s a great feeling right now’.”
Napa (10-6 overall, 3-5 Monticello Empire League) opened up the game with a run in the top of the first. Grace Guzman led off then stole both second and third bases before scoring on Katie O’Donnell’s single.
Vintage (1-12, 1-7 MEL) fought right back in the bottom of the first. Jordan Allen reached on an error by Napa left fielder Brianna Bowers, and later scored when Morgan Hernandez cranked two-run home run over the center field fence.
“Even though Napa came back and got a run after that, we still pushed through that,” Guidry said of the home run by Hernandez. “I mean if we can start innings off like that all the time that would be great, that would keep our momentum going every inning, every game, but that was a great way to start it off for us.”
The Indians retook the lead in the top of the second with two more runs. Guzman led off the inning with a double, and scored on a Bowers single. Bowers later scored on an O’Donnell single.
The Crushers took the lead again in the bottom of the second with two runs. Allen tripled and scored on a Sierra Crocker double. Crocker’s courtesy runner, Emily Gomez later scored on a Taylor Brandt single.
Vintage tacked on one more in the fourth.
Napa pushed across their final run of the day in the fifth.
The Crushers scored two more crucial runs in the bottom of the sixth. According to Guidry that made her team calm down for the seventh inning.
“It was big,” the coach said of the bottom of the sixth. “We know that Napa is a very good team when they get to the last six, seven innings — they’re not going to back down, so for us my goal when we were up it was push as many runs as we can, we need a bigger cushion, a bigger safety net for us because I know Napa was going to come back and fight, they weren’t just going to lay down and take it — they were going to fight back, so it was very important that we got those runners on, and I’m glad they found the way on, and just had to keep pushing and try to get some more runs.”
Cierra Yaeger took the win for Vintage. The sophomore went all seven innings giving up all four runs, while striking out four with two walks.
“Yeah, she’s awesome,” Guidry said of Yaeger. “She’s thrown our last three,four games, and she’s done nothing but progress since that game, and she got a shutout game — I mean it was awesome, it was great to see — I know she was struggling with some of the umpire’s calls, but I mean she kept fighting back and she did her thing and she worked very hard on the mound and her defense did their job as well.”
Kimmie Walston took the loss for the visitors. She pitched four innings giving up five runs, but only four earned. She struck out four, and had a walk.
“Well she did her job,” Walston said of his daughter’s day in the circle. “She got pop up and ground balls, and we didn’t make plays, and you know a lot of check swings, not swinging through the ball — it just wasn’t our day. It’s frustrating.”
Up next for Napa is a rematch with Armijo, who beat them earlier in the season on Wednesday. Vintage will travel to Fairfield to face Vanden on Monday; both are 4 p.m. start times.
The loss although detrimental doesn’t ruin Napa’s playoff hopes because of the fact that the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section will take four teams from the MEL.
“No it’s not (the end of the world), and they know that,” Walston said of the playoff hopes his team has, “but you know as a coach my thing is even if we do take the four spot, we gotta go into the playoffs on a high note — we gotta roll off a couple wins and play like we can because the way we’re playing right now, not gonna happen.”