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Providence softball survives shaky start to earn win

Softball: Pioneers fall behind early against Oakwood, but their bats come alive as end result is 22-11 nonleague home victory.

March 11, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

BURBANK — With a crop of good hitters, the Providence High softball team has proven it can score runs this season.

The first indication of that came last week when the Pioneers pushed across 16 runs in a victory against Holy Family to open the season.

In a nonleague game Tuesday against Oakwood, the Providence offense was at it again, this time to the tune of a 22-run effort. However, the Pioneers' defense did struggle at times against the Gorillas, who were able to take an early lead. But Providence was able to fight its way back to earn a 22-11 victory at Olive Park.

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

"We know we have the capability to score our share of runs this season for sure," said Providence Coach Joel Curtis, whose team is 2-0. "But we have to learn to be selective at the plate and we have to have quality at-bats. Another thing I would like to see the girls do more is to be able to adjust from one at-bat to another."

The Pioneers used four big innings to turn back Oakwood (1-1). The team scored five runs in the second inning, four in the third, seven in the fourth and five more in the fifth that prompted the mercy rule.

The offense was paced by freshman catcher Chisty Hoffman, who was three for five with a home run, four funs scored and four runs batted in. Teammate Meghan Mai, a junior first baseman, was three for five with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

In the taking-three-for-the-team department, junior shortstop Dominique Dominguez came to the plate five times, but had no at-bats after she was hit by pitches three times along with drawing two walks. Dominguez also scored three runs.

Against Oakwood pitcher Alex Cooperman, who didn't have a lot of velocity on her pitches, the Pioneers hitters had to make some adjustments.

"I was a little nervous hitting today because of the way she was throwing." Hoffman said of the hurler. "I just had to move up in the box and be ready for the pitches that she was throwing."

Before the Pioneers could even take their first at-bats, they were already behind. That's because Providence starting pitcher Sierra Nelson struggled in the first inning and the Gorillas took advantage. Nelson walked one and gave up two hits in the top of the first. Oakwood also took advantage of two Pioneers errors to jump to a 3-0 lead.

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