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Bell-Jeff rolls on

SOFTBALL: Guards survive shaky start to dispose of St. Anthony, 12-2.

April 24, 2010|By Jeff Tully

GROSS PARK — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team faced a tough situation Thursday in its Santa Cruz League game against visiting St. Anthony.

The Guards were missing three players — two were on a religious retreat and one was sidelined with illness. Two of the players were starters.

Those absences left Bell-Jeff with just nine players, one of whom was suffering from back spasms. That player, junior outfielder Stephanie Linares, was in such bad shape that she had to hobble to the plate and could barely make it around the bases.

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But she never came out of the game.

Although they overcame a shaky start, the Guards were able to deal with their hardships to notch a 12-2 victory against the Saints at Gross Park.

The game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

“Since we were missing some key players, we had some players in the game that didn’t really have they much experience,” Bell-Jeff first-year Coach John Castaneda said. “We had some problems in the beginning of the game, but they were able to gain the confidence and they came through for us.”

The win enables Bell-Jeff (9-4, 3-0 in league) to continue its upswing this season after going 5-11 last season. More importantly, it also allows the Guards to remain in a tie for first place in league with St. Matthias.

The Guards will take on defending league champion St. Matthias on Tuesday in a league road game.

Bell-Jeff has been downright dominating in league thus far. Thursday’s win was the team’s third straight mercy-rule result, and the Guards have outscored their opponents, 41-5, in those three games.

“We have a good hitting team,” Castaneda said. “I’m a hitting coach and I really try to have my teams prepared to hit.”

Things didn’t look good for the Guards in the early going against the Saints (2-8, 0-2). St. Anthony jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

But Bell-Jeff clawed its way back, scoring six runs in its portion of the third. The team added a run in the fourth and five more in the fifth.

The big hit in the third came via a three-run home run by Monique Landini. Landini had two hits and four RBI, Mari Rosa was three for three with a walk and two runs scored Jacklyn Pons was three for four with two triples, a double and two runs scored and Linares was two for three with a run scored.


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