There was no shortage of runs at Lang Field Thursday afternoon, as St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral combined to cross the plate 21 times.
Unfortunately for the Irish, the Wildcats did most of the scoring, running away with a 15-6 victory.
What seemed to be a back-and-forth game in the sweltering heat fell apart for the Irish (3-7, 0-4) in the sixth inning.
After entering the inning up just 8-5, the Wildcats’ offense put the nail in the coffin, scoring six runs in the frame. The half-inning was capped by Helen Buse’s bases-clearing double to put the Wildcats (7-8, 2-3) up 14-5.
Though Sacred Heart’s Racquell Gaffed hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, it wasn’t enough to bring the Irish back.
“She’s a slugger,” Irish coach Karen Murray said of Gaffed. “She wasn’t herself until that last at-bat when she turned on a changeup. That’s the attitude we need.”
Meanwhile, center fielder Frankie Buonocore and catcher Emi Goldstone provided standout days at the plate for St. Ignatius. Buonocore went 3-for-5 and scored four times, and Goldstone knocked her in twice, going 4-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs.
“We’re a really aggressive team, so every strike we can take, you really want to go after it,” Goldstone said.
The Wildcats’ offense lit up the scoreboard by totaling 18 hits, scoring in five of seven innings. Normally St. Ignatius’ Santa-Clara bound senior Jordan Newell provides the bulk of the offense, but Wildcats coach Karen Cota recognizes how important a balanced offensive attack is.
“We’ve got to have everyone in our lineup be able to get up there and get a ball through so we can score runners,” Cota said.
The St. Ignatius bats broke out right away, with the first three batters reaching base and scoring against Irish starting pitcher Julia Gallegos.
But early on, every time the Wildcats would score the Irish rebounded, as they scored twice in the second. The teams battled in a tight game until the sixth inning put the Irish away.
Despite the production at the plate, both coaches noticed some sloppy play in the field. The teams combined for 10 errors on the day, with six coming from St. Ignatius.
“All in all it was a good day, we were just a little sloppy in the field,” Cota said.
“We had a little trouble in the field today, but we’ll fix that,” Murray added. “We’re the Fighting Irish, and that’s what we’ll do. We play [St. Ignatius] again on Tuesday and we’ll make the plays we need to make.”
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