SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa’s golden opportunity to overtake Pleasant Grove both on the field and in the Delta River League standings slipped through its hands Thursday.
Trailing by a run but with runners perched at second and third and no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, three straight Bruins went down and so did host Ponderosa in a 3-1 loss.
The Eagles clung to a 2-1 advantage when Rachel Timberman doubled to the gap in right-center. Pleasant Grove pitched around Terra Jerpbak to put her on and after Ponderosa showed bunt, both stole the nearest base. The Bruins had their 3-4-5 hitters due but two strikeouts and a flyout ended the threat.
“We had the same thing at their place (1-0 loss) where we had opportunities and couldn’t execute,” Ponderosa coach Dwayne Brekke said. ” We’ve worked on those situations of putting the ball in play but unfortunately the one we did came with two outs. If we score twice there then it’s Pleasant Grove the one’s chasing uphill.”
Jerpbak started on the mound for Ponderosa and pitched all seven innings. She was touched by a double and Alexa McGoin’s (4-for-4) two-run home run in the first but put zeros up until the seventh when McGoin singled in the Eagles’ third run.
“We came in knowing it’d be a tough game and today they got ahead of us and we couldn’t come back,” Jerpbak said. “I worked the corners and pitched up and down on No. 14 (McGoin) to get her to roll over or pop up but id didn’t turn out that way.”
In need of some offense, Jerpbak and Veronica Greene doubled to lead off the fourth to get the Bruins on the board. Cassidy Lujan’s productive at bat moved Greene to third with one away but Pleasant Grove pitcher Celina Matthias stranded her there to hold the lead.
Defensively for Ponderosa, Madison Anderson dove to catch an Eagle bunt; Bailey Nordquist made a diving catch in right field; and Taylor Doane crashed through the center field fence on a catch to save several runs in the seventh.
Matthias retired the side in order in the bottom half.
“We had some good defense today … Bailey made some nice plays and Taylor knows no fear … but the key for us staying in the game was that Terra threw real well,” Brekke said.
Ponderosa is at Oak Ridge tomorrow for the annual ‘Pink Game.’ Junior varsity plays at 3 p.m. and the varsity is at 5.