Game relocation doesn’t slow down Casa Grande girls

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Casa Grande took advantage of a playable softball diamond in Santa Rosa on Monday afternoon as the Lady Gauchos thumped the host Panthers, 17-0, in a five-inning contest. The game was originally scheduled for Casa Grande, but was moved by mutual agreement because the Casa diamond remains unplayable due to the recent heavy rainfall.

Casa coach Scott Sievers was pleased to get the game played, but he has reservations on the immediate availability of the Lady Gaucho varsity diamond.

“The outfield is far too wet, and it doesn’t look good for any play in the short term,” he said. “We might be able to get in a game against Cardinal Newman on our junior varsity diamond in the next few days. There is standing water on our outfield grass now.”

The Gauchos acted as the home club on Monday, and went right to work in the bottom of the first inning to plate four runs after their first two batters were retired. An RBI double by shortstop Mo Lynch got things started.

Katie Humphreys followed with a second double up the alley, and the Gauchos put a four-spot on the board after batting around in the frame. Third baseman Ava Luiz rolled one into the outfield for the first of her two hits on the afternoon to keep the line moving.

Humphreys kept the Panthers completely off stride during her four-inning stint on the pitching rubber. Santa Rosa hitters accounted for only one hit and struck out eight times. Several Panthers were overpowered by fastballs around their shoulders.

Casa cobbled together a huge 12-run inning in the bottom of the third to blow the game wide open. Lynch got the loudest hit of the afternoon when she roped a long fly ball over the left-field fence for a solo homer.

Sixteen Lady Gauchos came to the plate in the long inning that featured two hits by Humphreys and a couple of RBIs by Skylar Thorpe.

Casa was impressive throughout the lineup with only one swing and miss through the entire afternoon.

Lynch and Humphreys led the Gaucho attack with three hits each. Casa was credited with 15 hits on the afternoon.

Meghan Bendik finished up in the circle, and shut down the Panthers in the top of the fifth inning before the contest was hated by the 10-run the mercy rule.

Casa Grande improved to 2-0 on the season, with play in the Vine Valley Athletic League just around the corner.

Despite the lopsided outcome of the game, the home-standing Panthers delighted their followers with the defensive play of the contest. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning, Thorpe lobbed a sinking fly ball into left-center that was ticketed for her second base hit of the game. Santa Rosa center fielder Hannah Hosier came out of nowhere to make a sparkling one-hand grab while moving full speed toward the infield. The impressive catch earned the appreciation on both sides of the stands.

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