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RedHawks survive furious rally in Willows
A slow start came back to bite the Willows High softball team during its 8-7 loss Thursday against Sacramento Valley League foe Colusa.
The RedHawks dominated the first five innings and built an 8-2 lead before the Honkers came roaring back.
Colusa's Brittanee Garcia tripled in the first inning to score Emily Corriea and Sophia Garcia, and scored on an error one batter later to give the RedHawks a 3-0 lead.
A strong wind blowing out towards left field caught Colusa shortstop Ashleigh Biggs' hard line drive and sent it rolling to the wall in left-center field for an inside-the-park home run to open the third inning. Yasmin Moreno drove in Katie Mobley with a single later in the frame for a 5-0 Colusa lead.
"I think we went into this thinking that they were going to be a really hard team, especially playing them at home, and then after the first inning we realized that we can do it," Biggs said.
The Honkers offense found a spark in the bottom half of the third inning when Courtney Dicharry crushed the ball to left field for a double, driving in Macy Baker and Megan Hughes.
An error to lead off the top of the fourth set up another big inning for Colusa, capped off by a bases-clearing double by Mobley to drive in Sophia Garcia, Biggs and Coral Imhoff.
Garcia shut the Honkers down in the fourth and the fifth but the tide turned sharply in favor of Willows in the sixth inning.
"I think we just started beating ourselves. We got it in our head that we were going to end it in the 5th inning and obviously we have to keep playing until it's over," Biggs said.
Willows relief pitcher Patricia Farrell recorded back-to-back scoreless innings and helped get the offense going in the sixth. Farrell and Nichole Thayer both singled before the Colusa defense coughed up two errors and a walk to the bottom of the order.
Lead-off hitter Hughes stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, and hit a one-hopper past second base for two more runs to pull Willows within two, 8-6.
Garcia escaped the inning without any more damage but the RedHawks failed to score in the top of the seventh and the same part of the Willows batting order which did most of the damage in the sixth was due up.
Thayer led off the inning with a walk and then stole second base. After a groundout, Natalie Massa walked and kept running to second base to put the tying run at second base with one out.
Colusa freshman third baseman Corriea nearly ended the game by catching a line drive right at the third base bag, nearly doubling off Thayer. The RedHawks had another change to get out of the inning but Delainy Ward's pop-up dropped in the infield when no Colusa player called for the ball and Thayer scored.
With the winning run standing at second base, Hughes hit a line drive right at Myers at second base to end the game.
The loss dropped Willows' record to 4-7 overall and 1-1 in league.
"We need to pretty much wake up and come together as a team and keep everyone up," Dicharry said.
Dicharry led Willows with two doubles, two RBIs and two walks, and Hughes added two hits, two RBIs and a stolen base. Thayer and Baker both scored twice and stole a base.
Sophia Garcia went 3-for-5 at the plate and score two runs, and tossed seven innings while striking out nine for Colusa.
Biggs went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored, Corriea went 2-for-4 with a double, Brittanee Garcia added two hits, including a triple, Mobley went 2-for-4 with a double, and Moreno added two hits and an RBI.
The RedHawks improved to 6-3 overall and 2-0 in SVL play.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.