Chester’s Lanee Hansen prepares to throw the ball from first base during the Volcanoes’ game against Redding Christian last Tuesday. In a close game, Chester lost 9-8. Photo by Tony Cordero
Two local high schools softball teams were up and at ‘em last week, playing a couple games each.
The Greenville softball team had to cancel its games against Westwood due to unfavorable field conditions, but both Chester and Portola played on.
Last Friday, March 22, the Tigers traveled to Reno and continued their winning streak, beating Hug by a whopping 20-1. Portola started its week March 19 at Incline, dominating the field to win 13-3. The win boosted Portola’s record to 7-5 overall.
Good pitching was in a lot of ways responsible for the Tigers’ stomp against Hug. Sandra Kibble, the team’s starting pitcher, showed she had what it took to shut Hug down with seven strikeouts. Kibble now has 47 strikeouts from the last 12 games, averaging four per game.
“(Kibble) did great,” said Portola’s coach Karl Popish. “She’s doing really well this year. She’s definitely my number one pitcher.”
Furthermore, Portola’s girls were hitting especially well against Hug. Every starter scored at least twice. Casey Pearson led the Tigers in hitting with three triples and a double.
“Hug’s pitcher threw the most comfortable speed for everyone on our team,” continued Popish. “Every girl in the lineup got at least one base hit.”
The second inning was Portola’s biggest with eight runs. The Tigers nearly matched that with six more runs in the third and four more in the fourth. Portola had one run in both the first and fifth innings as well to round its score to 20. Hug scored one run in the third inning.
The Tigers’ game against Incline was equally as impressive, showing Portola is the team to look out for this season. Incline didn’t give up as many runs as Hug, but Portola’s defense worked together to make sure they didn’t give up the runs as well.
The ball was all over the field, and the Tigers’ win was truly a team effort. Incline got some good hits in, but the outfield was on top of its game and ensured a swift victory.
Incline got its first run in the top of the first, but Portola got five runs in both the second and third innings. Incline then scored twice more in the fourth and Portola got one run in the fifth and two in the sixth.
“I contribute good defense to that win,” Popish said. “Not one player truly stood out. It was a solid team effort.”
Kibble continued pitching well and struck out four. Kibble also got four base hits, as did McKenna Popish.
Portola continues to play on the road for the next couple weeks. The Tigers take on Sparks High School on March 27 and play in the Biggs tournament the 29th. Portola’s first home game is April 9 against the Quincy Trojans.
The Volcanoes traveled to Westwood last Friday, March 22 to fall 10-4. Chester started its week Tuesday, March 19 in Redding against Redding Christian, losing 9-8. The two losses bring Chester’s record to 2-2.
Westwood took an early lead and continued getting run after run against Chester.
“They jumped on top of us and we never recovered from that one,” said Chester’s coach Shane Branch. “Towards the end of the game we tried to come back a bit.
Bailey Smith hit a home run in the fifth which also brought Kiersten Dyer home.
The Volcanoes started solid in their game against Redding Christian to take a quick lead. In the fifth inning, though, Redding Christian took a one run lead they carried through the end of the game.
“Redding Christian has a strong team,” said Branch. “They have good pitching, good hitting and a solid defense.”
The Volcanoes play Quincy in a double header March 30 on the Trojans’ field. Chester also played Fall River on March 26; details can be found in next week’s Sports section.