The East Union Lancers made the most of one hit.
But that wasn’t quite enough to get past Tracy during Friday’s 5-4 eight-inning loss at Northgate Park.
The Bulldogs scored twice in the extra frame thanks to a walk and three straight hits – Sabrina George lashed a run-scoring double and was followed by Alee Balanon’s RBI single – while taking a two-run lead in the non-league affair.
In the home half of the eighth, Jillian Costa walked, advancing to second on a wild pitch, and reaching third on a steal. After Marissa Romero drew a walk, Cherish Burks, East Union’s speedy freshman outfielder, plated Costa with a sacrifice fly.
The Lancers (3-2) had the tying run in scoring position with one out but ended the game by getting doubled up.
“That was great game,” East Union coach Brian Goulart. “We kept battling and battling.
“We also did a good job running the bases.”
Evident of that was Burks drawing a lead-off walk in the first inning, swiping both second and third, and stealing home. She tallied four stolen bases during the game while reaching base twice.
Jordan Vinson, the Lancers’ catcher, also drew a first-inning walk. She, too, scored, taking advantage of three wild pitches.
Down 2-0, the Bulldogs (3-1) got back one run in the second. Balanon had an infield hit and scored on Olivea Perea’s RBI single.
They tied the game in the third. Angela Mariani belted a two-out double, coming home moments later on George’s run-scoring hit.
In the fifth, Tracy tied the game on Mariani’s RBI single that plated Ellie Fisher.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, relied on strong pitching and solid defense led by sophomore hurler Tayler Misfeldt. At one point, she retired 15 batters in a row – of those put outs, eight were registered at first – before yielding a walk to Burks in the sixth.
Burks advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, swiped third, and scored on a wild pitch, tying the game at 3-3.
The Lancers also played strong defense.
“Jordan (Vinson) did a great job behind the plate,” said Goulart of his sophomore catcher.
He also praised his freshman shortstop Tea Solario, who turned an unassisted double play in the fifth while making a strong throw for the put out earlier in the game.
Despite allowing 12 hits, Kelsey Emerson, East Union’s senior hurler, kept her team in the hunt.
The Lancers, in fact, were held hitless until Solario delivered a one-out single in the seventh.
“We had been hitting the ball well before this game,” Goulart said. “But credit Tracy’s pitcher for throwing a great game against us.”