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Sharks fall in two double-digit home losses
The Malibu High School softball team suffered a pair of humbling home losses, 33-1 on Tuesday, April 1, against Santa Paula and 14-3 on Thursday, April 3, against Grace Brethren.
The Sharks were simply “out physical-ed” by the highly competitive Cardinals, according to head coach Mark Cooley, who noted Malibu’s lack of club softball experience as a reason for the double-digit domination.
“We were bringing a butter knife to a machine gun fight,” Cooley said. “Those girls are training year-round; they’re getting nine months more practice than we are.”
Cooley, who has been presenting the idea of a light travel club team to interested players, said the experience would serve them well in league game situations, such as their match against Grace Brethren in which the girls suffered 13 strikeouts and succumbed to swinging at bad pitches.
“This pitcher didn’t dictate 13 strikeouts,” Cooley said. “We need to be able to identify the ball of the pitcher’s hip and predict where it’s going.”
In addition to their struggles at bat, the Sharks were down one player, which shifted many of the girls into unfamiliar positions, allowing the Lancers to score five runs in the first inning and another four in the second.
Malibu battled back in the top of the third inning, freezing the Lancers with bases loaded with Cristina Batres on the mound to halt the Lancers’ earlier rally. But another big inning for Grace Brethren left Malibu with a 13-run deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning, with only one run to the Lancers’ 14.
But the girls flurried up a small rally after two consecutive base hits from Batres and Molly Gallagher, who were advanced by a slap from Hali Norris, landed them in ideal scoring position. An overthrow during Emma Gallagher’s at-bat sent Batres and Molly home.
“We need to start off on the right foot,” Cooley said. “Every attitude out there, whether good or bad, becomes contagious.”
After a two-week hiatus for spring break, the Sharks will pick up league play again at 3:30 p.m. on April 23, at home against Archer.
RIGHT: Lance Good swings at a pitch against Grace Brethren.