Sat, May 07 2011 12:23 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The 2002 Bonita Vista High School softball team’s 31-game winning streak is safe, at least for one more year. The Hilltop Lancers made sure of that with a 3-1 victory over the current edition of the Barons on a two-run walk-off home run by Natalia Rosales in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday.
Bonita Vista’s 2011 edition — ranked No. 1 among San Diego Section teams — had opened the season 26-0.
“I’m proud of both teams,” veteran Hilltop coach Nancy Acerrio said. “I’m proud of our team for staying focused and not getting too distracted and not trying to play up too big. I think we showed the type of team we are.”
What the Lancers did was to grab sole possession of first place in the Mesa League standings. Both teams entered Wednesday’s key game 4-0 in league play.
The teams rematch Friday at BVHS. Start time is 3 p.m.
It is said that championship seasons are often comprised of three basic elements: unbeatable talent, top flight coaching and luck.
It looked as if the Barons might evoke the latter after taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning in a game that looked not to produce many runs.
Celinna Cosio scored the go-ahead run but it came in a most unorthodox fashion. Anissa Pinedo cracked a solid base hit but got caught in a run-down between first and second base. For whatever reason, the Lancer in possession of the ball elected to go for the sure out in front of her, while neglecting to notice Cosio breaking for the plate.
Hilltop, however, made up for the mental miscue, if one wants to call it that, by promptly tying the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Fiana Finau, who is bound on a scholarship to play next year at SDSU, stroked a hard single to right field. She advanced a base on a passed ball and was followed on the base paths by two more teammates on back-to-back base on balls.
With the bases loaded and one out, BV hurler Jennifer Hartman induced a fly-out to center field. Mary Sherwood then came up and delivered a run-scoring single off the shortstop’s glove to knot the score at a run apiece.
The score stayed that way until the home half of the seventh inning. Ariel Bochnik led off with a base on balls to bring up Rosales.
Hartman may not have had her best stuff on the day, falling behind Lancer hitters throughout the high profile contest. Rosales took two balls to promptly get in the proverbial driver’s seat but Hartman eventually worked the count to 3-2.
Rosales knew she couldn’t wait any longer.
“I knew I couldn’t go down looking,” she said. “I knew I had to do something.”
As soon as Rosales put the bat on the ball, everyone in the park knew the game was over.
“I felt like jumping up and down and screaming, which I did,” Rosales said.
It was her fourth homer of the season.
Rosales also picked up the win in the pitching circle by holding the Barons to six hits. Bonita Vista stranded six runners on base. The Hilltop hurler struck out just one batter.
Hartman, in suffering her first loss of the season in 19 decisions, allowed four hits, two earned runs and struck out four batters.
At 5-0 in league (15-6 overall), the Lancers now become the so-called “team to beat” in the Mesa League.
“The team is peaking at the right time,” Acerrio said. “They’re listening to us and they’re listening to themselves. We talk up defense to them because we know our offense will come through for us. We have some powerful hitters.”
As do the Barons. Pinedo collected five RBI in a 19-6 league win against Mater Dei Catholic on April 29 while teammates Jaycee Carlson and Carolyn Wright each drove in three runs.
In the previous game against the Crusaders, Bonita Vista won 12-1.
“It felt so good to beat them but they played a good game, too,” Rosales said.
© 2009 The Star-News