The Beach softball team faced Cal Berkeley in a close game until Cal rallied in the 6th inning and then clutched onto a 6-1 win Saturday night at the Long Beach State Softball Complex.
LBSU’s offense capitalized on Cal’s errors with the first three hitters loading the bases, but the inning ended with runners left on base a recurring theme throughout the game.
The Beach bats didn’t get hot again until the 5th inning. Sophomore infielder Jacquelyn Bickar laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance freshman infielder Selena Perez to second base. Then, a Bears shortstop fumbled a routine play, resulting in two Long Beach runners on allowing sophomore outfielder Corissa Sweet to hit a hard ground ball to center field that scored the runner on third base. Sweet’s RBI was the only run scored by LBSU.
Pitcher Eryka Gonzales started the game. The sophomore was quick to get hitters to two strikes and then work the count by throwing junk balls. Gonzales was every defense’s dream, as she produced routine plays where her teammates barely had to move to secure the ball in their gloves. She held Cal at zero runs for five innings.
“I thought Eryka just did an outstanding job in the circle,” head coach Kim Sowder said. “I mean, she led the way in the circle and pitched well enough for us to win the ball game. We had a few defensive mistakes that, you know, they were able to take advantage of.”
In the 6th inning, Gonzales hit the first batter in the leg. The following hitters got on base because of minor errors and a walk. This boosted Cal’s energy. Junior pitcher Sophia Fernandez was brought in to relieve Gonzales. Fernandez walked a batter and hit a batter. Gonzales was brought back in but was switched out with senior pitcher Samantha Fowler after facing three hitters.
Cal would go on to score four runs putting the game away from The Beach after the single inning hiccup.
The Beach tried fighting back but ended the inning with two runners on. The Bears scored two more runs in the 7th inning and then its defense shut Long Beach State down.
Cal Berkeley made six defensive errors, yet LBSU only made two.
Eryka Gonzales still believes in her team.
“We’re gritty you know, we love to compete and, you know, like this game didn’t really show that, but you know, we really try to compete,” Gonzales said. “We play with respect. We just have great energy and we don’t see us stopping anytime soon. We’re just gonna keep going. We’re just gonna take these little hiccups and just keep running.”
It was the second defeat in a row for the LBSU softball team against Cal at the Wilson Invitational after dropping the game the night before 8-4. The team closes out the weekend against Louisiana-Monroe Sunday morning.