By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
Sometimes it takes a while for a team to get their offense going in softball, as was the case for the Napa High softball team in their 6-1 win over Wood-Vacaville Friday afternoon.
It took until the bottom of the sixth for the Indians’ (10-4 overall, 3-3 Monticello Empire League) to get their offense going. I’m that sixth inning they scored five runs to take control of the game. Napa sent 11 hitter to the plate and had four hit in the inning, the biggest of which came from Abby Arata who had a bunt single along with a throwing error by Wood pitcher Maleah Martinez that brought in McKenna Walls, and Haylee Giarritta who had singled in their at-bats.
“Well, Wood played a great defensive game,” Napa coach Ron Walston explained as to why the game was so close until the sixth. “They had them played well in the outfield, and they played us deep, we hit a lot of balls right to them, but they’re a young team, but they’re a good team, they’re going to be a force in the future — I could see that coming.”
In the top of the third the Wildcats (3-8, 1-3 MEL) pushed across their only run of the game, but throughout the game they had many other scoring opportunities. After Michaela Milender singled, Chloe Smotherman and Daniella Harper walked to lead the bases. A single by Martinez brought home Milender.
Napa got their initial run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. A Peyton Mott single brought in Bowers who doubles and stole third for the Indians first tally of the game. According to Walston that seemed to be a big momentum swing for his team.
“Yeah it did,” the coach said of the importance of scoring their first run. “We’ve had for whatever reason, we’ve had trouble scoring runs this week, and it’s just kinda been dragging on, dragging on, but I could definitely tell a difference in when they scored — we played from behind the other day and we just couldn’t get anything going, so it was good to tie it up and then have the big (sixth) inning.”
Martinez took the loss for Wood. The sophomore went all six inning allowing all six runs, but only five were earned. She walked six and struck out one.
The Indians were without their number one pitcher Jenna Baker who was out due to illness. In Bakers spot Kimmie Walston started. She went all seven innings walking five and striking out four while also giving up nine hits, and an earned run on 117 pitches.
“She kept the ball down, and that’s a key for he,” Walston explained of his daughters pitching on the afternoon. “If she gets the ball up, of course if anybody does, they’re going to hit the ball hard, but she made some pitches when she needed it — she made a couple of good plays up the middle that helped herself too, and we played good defense, which we normally do for the most part.”
Napa will travel to soon-to-be Vine Valley Athletic League opponent American Canyon on Monday at 4 P.M.; Wood will host Rodriguez on Wednesday at 4 P.M.