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Hernandez throws three-hitter against Yuma High
C 1013000 — 5-11-1
YH 0000000 — 0-3-3
2B: Cibola, Olea HR: Cibola, Evans RBI: Cibola, Evans 3, Carrazco SB: Cibola, Gallegos, N. Hernandez WP: N. Hernandez LP: L. Morris
Cibola starting pitcher Nadia Hernandez surrendered a pair of hits to start the bottom of the first at Yuma High on Tuesday.
Then she settled down in a big way.
The freshman right-hander got out of an early jam and ended up throwing a three-hit shutout in a 5-0 win over the Criminals.
“Excellent composure,” Cibola coach Shelly Baumann said of Hernandez, who finished with five strikeouts. “She doesn't throw like a freshman.”
“I got to settle down and get my pitches right,” Hernandez said. “My screwball wasn't working, but it got better at the end.”
The top half of the Raiders' batting lineup were hot at the plate, with junior Amanda Hernandez, seniors Grecia Villa, Bethany Olea, Alexis Evans and junior Alyssa Gallegos each getting a pair of hits in the win. Evans sent the first pitch she saw in the fourth inning over the fence for a three-run home run.
While the Raiders finished with 11 hits on the day, they also left nine runners on base – including seven in the first three innings.
“We just didn't come through. But you can't come through every single time,” Baumann said. “The only thing I'm discouraged about is leaving nine runners on.”
Criminal junior Britteny Ramos went 2 for 3 and sophomore Lezlie Morris pitched all seven innings, giving up 11 hits and striking out four in the loss.
“I don't think she threw the best that I've seen her throw. (Cibola) has always had a solid offensive lineup,” Yuma High coach Liz Hyuck said. “They got slappers, they got bunters, they got big hitters.”
Yuma High (6-3 overall, 3-1 in power-point games) had a pair miscues in the first inning that proved costly in the loss. Hernandez opened the game with a single to right field but a throwing error by freshman right fielder Gabriela Rubio sent Hernandez to second and she advanced to third on a single by Villa. Two batters later, Criminal second baseman Alicia Stephens misplayed a ball by Evans – which allowed Hernandez to score the game's first run.
“We beat ourselves today. We committed three errors and we know to beat them, we can't commit any errors. We can't make any mistakes and we didn't hit the ball,” Hyuck said.
Ramos opened the bottom of the first with a single off Hernandez and the Criminals got some good luck when a sacrifice bunt from Amanda Martinez went over the head of Cibola third baseman Dennise Carrazco for a single. The Criminals hit into back-to-back fielders choices and Yuma High senior Linda Ontiveros hit a pop up to Carrazco, who dropped it but Stephens rounded third and casually ran home thinking the ball was caught – Carrazco responded by scooping the ball up and throwing to senior catcher Hannah Lackey for the third out.
“We remained up but absolutely we didn't run the bases well and we talked about that,” Hyuck said.
The Raiders' big offensive burst came in the top of the fourth when Evans hit a three-run home run to dead center field to give the Raiders a 5-0 lead.
“I was thinking, see the ball and rip it,” Evans said. “I was thinking line drive.”
“That was big because anything could happen at that point in the game,” Baumann said. “They have good hitters that could take it out of the park at anytime so that was big.”
Hernandez, who got out of a jam in the sixth when Yuma High had runners on second and third, retired the final five batters in order – including needing just three pitches to finish the seventh inning.
“She did a good job moving the ball around today,” Baumann said. “I'm really pleased with her performance today. Really pleased.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6881. Find him Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.