LODI — Golden Sierra High softball coach Becky Pratte told her players to watch Delhi pitcher Alyssa Stockton’s rise ball prior to the two teams meeting in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs at the Lodi Softball Complex on Wednesday.
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Stockton came into the game with 301 strikeouts. After Wednesday’s game, Stockton has 314.
The pitcher struck out 13 Golden Sierra batters en route to pitching a no-hitter. That included fanning five consecutive Grizzly batters — twice — and 10 of those batters were caught swinging on her rise balls. The Hawks banged out seven hits that led to a 3-0 upset win over the Grizzlies, winners of the Sierra Delta League title and No. 1 seed.
“That rise ball,” Pratte said. “That’s what we were telling them in the dugout: Stay away from the rise ball. But that’s why she has 300-plus strikeouts.”
Golden Sierra had four base runners in the game. Shortstop and leadoff hitter Kenna Barth walked to start the bottom of the first inning. But the next three Grizzly batters struck out.
“Kenna has always been real good in watching the pitches,” Pratte said.
In the bottom of the fifth, Carley Kauffman reached first base on a Hawks error. But the next Grizzly batter grounded out to finish the fame.
The Grizzlies’ Megan Prust walked and Hollie Johnson reached first base on an error in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs. But Prust was thrown out at third base for the final out.
“Toward the end, I think they started to figure it out,” Pratte said. “They kept their momentum up and they were hoping that would be enough.”
Delhi, the Southern League’s No. 3 seed, scored its first run in the top of the third off three hits. The Hawks scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning, also off three hits.
Despite the early exit from the playoffs, Pratte is happy with her team’s performance during the season.
“I’m very proud of these girls,” Pratte said. “We had a lot of girls come in who are young players (seven underclassmen). From start to finish, I’m very proud of them.”
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.