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Rough second inning plagues Rams
Most pitchers wish they could take back a single inning. For Antelope starter Analysia Rivera, it was the second.
El Centro-Central scored six runs on six hits in the second inning off Rivera en route to an 8-0 win in the third place game of the Shamrock Classic.
Rivera settled down after that, allowing only one more run in the sixth inning.
“She's kind of like a Greg Maddux,” Antelope coach Mike Jorjuria said. “She's not real fast, but she's got a lot of junk and hits the corners.”
If Rivera was Greg Maddux, than Central's pitcher Jayln McClain was Nolan Ryan. McClain used her velocity to throw a complete-game shutout, giving up three hits and maneuvering through the Rams' lineup with relative ease.
“Our girls don't see that a lot,” Jorjuria said. “They gear it up and they hit her here and there, but we just couldn't put enough of them together. That's why I like this tournament for our girls, to come see the best. Usually in our class or size of school, we don't see that. When we go to state we'll see that.”
Antelope leadoff hitter Alissa Caddell led off the game with a single and hit the ball hard in her two other at-bats, flying out to center and lining out to the second baseman.
“We've been facing nothing but slow this weekend, so it's hard to adjust to,” Caddell said. “The pitcher did have some speed, you could tell she's played before.”
Adjusting to a high-velocity pitcher forces teams to cut down on any extra movements their swings.
“It's harder because softball is 15 feet closer than baseball so your swing, you can't have any ticks,” Jorjuria said. “It's got to be a pure, quick swing and you have to know your strike zone. We're playing against teams that play travel ball and change uniforms all over the place, and our girls play all different sports so when it comes to softball it takes a while to adjust to it. That's just the nature of the beast.”
Antelope started the tournament with a loss to San Luis, despite the Sidewinders only recording a single hit.
“It's the little things,” Jorjuria said. “They really weren't knocking the cover off, the girls just need to learn. I told them, it's all the little things put together. Can't be giving them outs or they'll bite you in butt, and that's what they did.”