RedHawks win in Biggs way
Perry Taylor couldn't ask for a more memorable varsity coaching debut.
Ashleigh Biggs hit a walk-off 2-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning and gave Colusa High's new softball coach a 4-3 victory against Gridley Tuesday in the team's season opener at Egling Middle School in Colusa.
"It was a fun game to watch. It was a fun game to be a part of for my first game and it's even better when you win," Taylor said.
The RedHawks led from the 1st inning until the top of the 7th, when pitcher Sophia Garcia - who was dominant all game - left the ball out over the middle of the plate and Gridley's Fraine Cox pulled it down the left field line for a go-ahead 3-run home run with no outs.
Unfazed by Cox's home run, Garcia escaped the inning without allowing any more damage.
"When we came in from the field in the middle of the 7th I got them all in front of the dugout and just said, 'It's our turn now, let's just get it back.' And by golly they got it back," Taylor said.
Garcia led off the inning and worked a seven-pitch at-bat before reaching on a perfectly executed bunt single, bringing Biggs to the plate from the on-deck circle. With a 1-0 count, Biggs got her pitch.
"The pitcher threw the ball right down the middle and (Biggs) smoked the ball almost dead-center, I mean she ripped it," Taylor said.
Taylor took over this season after Randy Watt stepped down at the end of last season, ending his 23-year coaching career at Colusa with his first section championship.
The team that took Watt to the championship lost just one senior to graduation, and the team's most dangerous weapon, Garcia, is just a junior.
During her sophomore campaign, Garcia earned the Sacramento Valley League co-MVP and struck out 240 batters in 160 innings. She picked up where she left off. She struck out 10 and allowed just four hits and three walks in seven innings in her first start of the season.
The RedHawks played without four starters. Two seniors, catcher Brittanne Garcia and outfielder Devin McKey, missed the game for a English class field trip to Ashland, Ore. Senior second-baseman Mattie Myers is likely out until sometime in April while she recovers from ankle surgery, and another player is ineligible for the first few weeks of the season.
Taylor brought up sophomore Sally Loaza to play center field and she immediately got in on the action. Gridley's lead-off hitter Megan Anthony hit the ball over Loaza's head but the sophomore quickly relayed the ball in to Biggs, who gunned Anthony out as she tried to stretch her double into a triple.
Sophomore third-baseman Emily Corriea scored the RedHawks' first two runs and was a defensive standout early in the game on the rare occasion when Garcia didn't notch a strikeout.
In the 1st inning, Corriea reached on an error, stole second base and scored on a single to right field by Biggs, who alertly took second on a bobble by the outfielder. Corriea singled in the 5th and scored on an error, giving Colusa a 2-0 lead.
Junior Coral Imhoff played outfield last season but moved to second base and not only made an impact with her glove, but also doubled in the 3rd inning.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.