SOLEDAD — Alize Duarte pitched five strong innings and received relief help from Monique Rodriguez and Elena Meza as the Soledad Lady Aztec varsity softball defeated visiting Robert Louis Stevenson 10-2 last Thursday afternoon. Duarte and Meza give Soledad a strong pitching corps.

“We are going to head into a tough April where we will rely on our pitchers,” said Soledad head coach Joel Ramirez. “Meza is starting to look like she is pretty close to 100% after returning from an early season injury. Duarte has provided consistency in the circle and worked extremely hard in the off season and has filled in well giving us an opportunity to compete. I don’t think Duarte expected to carry the load she has this year and having Meza as a mentor has helped her develop and improve as a pitcher.”

Soledad picked up three runs in the first inning capitalizing on Pirate mistakes and Savannah Bermudez driving in a pair on an opposite field double. In the second inning Evelina Ramirez drew a lead-off walk and Celeste Canchola blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence. Soledad picked up five runs in the sixth with basehits by Celeste Parra and Skylah Fregoso and a double by Bermudez, her third double of the contest.

Bermudez finished 3 x 3 with the three doubles, Canchola went 2 x 4 with the homerun, Parra and Fregoso were 1 x 3, and Ramirez went 1 x 2.

On Tuesday April 4th the Lady Aztecs host the Santa Catalina Cougars and were beaten by a 9-2 score. Catalina jumped out to an early lead scoring two in the top of the first. Soledad had two runners on in the bottom half of the inning but a fielder’s choice and a strikeout worked the Cougars out of a jam.

Catalina put up three more runs in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0. The Lady Aztecs answered with a run in the third and one run in the fourth. Soledad had runner on base in scoring position with less than two outs in very inning except the seventh.

“We came up with opportunities at the plate to open up the game but to do so,” said Coach Ramirez. “We need to do a better job of understanding at bats and situations to put the ball in play. Elena Meza did a good job in the circles recording a complete game and striking out two.”

Fregoso went 2 x 4, Canchola went 2 x 4, Parra was 2 x 4, and Ramirez finished 2 x 2. Soledad is 3-3 in the Mission Trail Athletic League standings and 9-6 overall. The Lady Aztecs played at Greenfield yesterday and stay on the road with a game tomorrow at Carmel.

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