After quite a bit of stressing and sweating, the James Logan High softball team ultimately avenged its lone loss of the season.
Despite committing seven errors, the defending North Coast Section Division I champion was able to celebrate a 6-4 win over host Newark Memorial on Wednesday in Mission Valley Athletic League play.
Unlike their 10-8 loss to Newark Memorial at a tournament in Nevada on April 13, the Colts had a pitcher in RaeAnn Garza who was fresh and at full strength for the rematch. But her defense struggled to make plays behind her after Logan took a big lead in the first inning.
"You've gotta dive on balls, you have to get dirty," Logan coach Teri Johnson said. "I don't feel like we're playing defensively like we can play, like Logan's always played. ... I don't remember the last time we committed seven errors in a season, let alone one game."
The Colts (16-1, 7-0 MVAL) never trailed, though, thanks to a four-run first inning. Garza began the two-out rally with a triple and scored on an error. Sophomore Michaela Burpee then delivered the big blow, a three-run homer to center.
Newark Memorial put together several rallies, getting runners into scoring position in every inning but the first and seventh, but never overcame the early deficit.
The Cougars (9-8, 6-1) had great chances to close in on the Colts in three straight innings. They loaded the bases in the fourth inning but came away empty-handed when Logan catcher Caley Bonansea picked a runner off first base for the third out.
Newark Memorial did cash in on two Logan throwing errors the next inning, plating two runs. But the damage could have been worse, as Garza induced a strikeout and fly out to leave the bases loaded.
"I think it was just nerves," Garza said. "We were trying to earn our spot back (after losing to Newark), so we were a little uptight, but we pushed through."
The bases were left loaded again in the sixth inning, though the Cougars did push across a run on an RBI single from Maricela Matos. Garza then worked a perfect seventh inning to seal the win.
Clarissa Blaquera and Garza both tallied three hits for Logan. Blaquera scored the Colts' final two runs, including a solo homer in the sixth inning. Garza finished a homer shy of the cycle.
Brooke Hadfield and Laurisa Hernandez both went 2 for 4 for the Cougars and added an RBI each.
Sean Mackay has stepped down as San Leandro's coach to accept an assistant coaching position with the San Jose City College men's basketball program, San Leandro athletic director Jerome Manos said. Mackay was with the Pirates program for eight seasons, and led the team to its first appearance in the NCS Division I title game and the state playoffs this past season.