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Softballers accept Colusa's invitation
An unforgiving roster of teams provided a weekend of highly competitive games at the Colusa Invitational Softball Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Colusa High and Hamilton got the tournament started at noon on Friday and the RedHawks rode 18 strikeouts by sophomore starting pitcher Sophia Garcia to a 7-0 victory.
"I think her velocity has improved a lot since last year. She only threw three games last year but had three shutouts too," Colusa coach Randy Watt said.
Garcia struck out the side in the first and second innings and added a four strikeout inning in the top of the fourth. The leadoff hitter reached on a swinging strikeout that RedHawks veteran catcher Brittanee Garcia couldn't quite reach.
Though they aren't related, Sophia Garcia and Brittanee Garcia are best friends and refer to each other as sisters, and that relationship has made the transition from record-setting pitcher Tiffany Friel, who graduated last year, to Garcia go smoothly.
"I call most pitches and if she doesn't like something or if we need to change something it's pretty easy to fix, we don't really get in any arguments. It's easy, our connection as best friends is nice so we're good there," Brittanee Garcia said.
The sophomore pitcher might not have much high school pitching experience but Garcia spends her summers playing on traveling teams.
"It's probably going to be different because I have to pitch most of the games and usually in travel ball you just get two games a weekend," Garcia said.
During the tournament Garcia threw 34 innings across five games in two days and piled up 57 strikeouts.
Braves starting pitcher Tati Cabral pitched well in defeat, striking out eight and walking two. Of the seven runs Colusa scored three were unearned.
Ashleigh Biggs gave Colusa the lead with an RBI double to center field in the first inning and Mattie Myers added a run in the second inning on a double steal.
Hamilton had its best chance to score in the top of the third inning after Cabral singled with two outs and the next two batters walked to load the bases, but Garcia notched her ninth strikeout to escape the jam.
"These kids, most of them have played, they're just not used to the quickness and the speed of the older kids. They'll make a lot of improvement," Hamilton coach Ken Mason said.
The Braves roster on Saturday featured zero seniors, two juniors and four sophomores, the rest were freshman, Mason said.
"There are six girls coming out from the basketball team, hopefully they go a long way to be honest with you but I think three of them are starters for sure and that'll help a lot. We should be able to hit better than we did today," he said.
The RedHawks added four runs in the bottom of the third by taking advantage of three errors and an RBI triple by Myers.
Colusa scored its final run in the fourth after Emily Correia hit her third single of the game and scored on an RBI single by Coral Imhoff to make the score 7-0.
Sutter 5, Colusa 1
Sutter's experience advantage was in full effect on Friday and the Huskies capitalized on three errors by the RedHawks to win 5-1. The loss was Colusa's first of the season.
Biggs went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and a RBI. Garcia struck out seven and allowed eight hits for Colusa.
Winters 9, Colusa 1
The RedHawks managed just one hit against Winters in their third game on Friday. The Warriors jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Colusa scored on an RBI single by Biggs.
Colusa gave Winters too many free base runners by committing five errors and Garcia walked five batters.
Colusa 5, Live Oak 1
The RedHawks got back in the win column on the second day of the tournament with a 5-1 victory against Live Oak.
Brittanee Garcia gave Colusa a 2-0 lead with a double to score Sophia Garcia and Biggs.
Biggs tripled in the fifth and Garcia drove her in with a single. Yasmin Moreno hit an RBI single in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Lions finally broke through against Garcia with a run in the seventh inning to prevent a shutout. Garcia struck out 11, walked six and gave up three hits.
Durham 4, Colusa 2
The RedHawks scored the first two runs of the game but couldn't hold on for the win against Durham on Saturday.
Katie Mobley and Correia hit RBI singles, but the Trojans tied it with two runs in the fourth and added a run in the fifth and in the sixth for the seven-inning victory.
All four Durham runs were unearned. Garcia struck out 12 and allowed six hits.
Hamilton 11, Durham 10
Rylee Deitz led the Braves to a narrow 11-10 victory on Friday by going 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and a triple.
Hamilton 5, Live Oak 5
The Braves ran into the tournament's time limit against Live Oak and earned a 5-5 draw on Saturday.
Sutter 11, Hamilton 0
Brae Fleming and Cabral collected the only two hits of the game for Hamilton and the Braves committed seven errors in a loss to an experienced Sutter team on Saturday. The Huskies scored 11 runs on just six hits.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.