Clark dominates as Gators finish strong final games of the season

SF Gators pitcher Megan Clark plays against the Holy Names at a home game on April 28, 2017. (Tate Drucker/Xpress)

In the final games of the 2017 spring season, SF State women’s softball team walked away with two big wins against the Holy Names University Hawks on Friday at the SF State softball field.

Starting pitcher Megan Clark scattered two hits across five innings as the Gators shut out the Hawks 9-0.

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SF Gators do sprints as a warmup before a home game against the Holy Names on April 28, 2017. (Tate Drucker/Xpress)

In game one, the Gators came out strong and loud as the defense worked to hold off the Hawks from reaching home plate in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the inning third baseman Gabby Reta first lit up the scoreboard by driving in outfielder Aryn Guzman with an RBI single over second base, 1-0.

Following a quiet second inning SF State once again found their way home as Reta produced an RBI double off the fence scoring catcher Celeste Adriano, 2-0.

“Gabby had an awesome day today with a lot of hits and just being aggressive on the base path,” head coach Lisa McKinney said.

After a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth, the Gators got into Holy Names’ head as errors worked in SF State’s favor. Guzman raised the score 3-0 with a sacrifice hit followed by an RBI single right back up the middle from outfielder Alexis Mattos who ended up on third due to miscommunication from the Hawks.

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SF Gator Sara Higa (21) runs home during last game of the season against Holy Names on Friday, April 28, 2017. (Tate Drucker/Xpress)

Gators sat comfortably on a 5-0 lead as Holy Names called for a pitching change, but the change didn’t silence the Gators’ bats. With bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, pinch hitter Angelica Terrel launched a three-run RBI double into deep center, ending the game 8-0 in just five innings.

“It’s a great feeling to have a strong defense and offense behind me,” Clark said.

Game two saw a slow start from the Gators, but a strong battle made for a nail biting final game of the season.

“I think we came into it way more relaxed and expected to score a lot of runs in the first inning and we didn’t do that,” Reta said. “After we settled down we got it together.”

The Hawks quickly jumped on Clark as a lead-off triple threw the Gators in the top of the second inning. The runner scored shortly after Gators began throwing the ball away in the infield, allowing two runs and falling behind early 0-2.

“They started putting up runs so we thought ‘okay we aren’t going to let them take it this easy’ – we had that fire again,” Adriano said.

SF State woke up their bats, tying the game 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning as Reta shot an RBI double into left scoring first baseman Sara Higa, who then snuck her way home as the Hawk’s pitcher had her back turned to the plate.

Holy Names claimed the lead again in the top of the fourth after miscommunication from the Gators allowed the team to plate another, 2-3, but the Gators quickly answered back in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI bunt and a RBI single to retake the lead for a final of 4-3.

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SF Gator Mallory Cleveland (center) celebrates their win against the Holy Names at a home game on April 28, 2017. (Tate Drucker/Xpress)

“I thought the girls came out really strong, they made a big adjustment in game one and got a lot of hits,” McKinney said. “Game two started off shaky, but it was nice to see them stay relaxed in the box and make some things happen.”

The women ended their season 15-29 in conference.

“Overall, I think it was a successful season, we learned a lot and grew a lot as a team,” McKinney said. “We are still trying to find the groove of how to play Gator softball every single day no matter who the opponent is and I hope that’s the biggest lesson these girls take from this season: we have to play our game.”