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Softball: Malibu wraps up big win at home

Emma Gallagher slides below the tag of the Cate third baseman on Friday, March 21, at the Sharks’ home game. Photos by Stephanie Chaisson/22nd Century Media
Hali Norris catches a fly ball at second base on Friday, March 21, against Cate.
Xena Amirani lays down a bunt against Cate.
Ashleigh Fryer, Senior Editor
1:09 pm PDT March 25, 2014

The Malibu High School softball team regrouped after their 9-3 loss against Archer on March 14 with a blow-out 26-4 victory against Cate at home on Friday, March 21.

Along with strong fielding, the Sharks boasted two explosive innings, scoring 17 runs in the second and nine runs in the third. 

Cristina Batres led the charge for the Sharks on the mound and in the batter’s box, pitching her first victory of the season with seven strikeouts and two walks, and going 2-for-4 at bat with a double and three RBI.

On top of Batres’ three runs scored, Rachel McConnell chipped in another three, with four RBI of her own, going 3-for-4 at bat. Xena Amirani contributed four RBI and scored three runs. 

After a collision between center fielder Molly Armitage and right fielder Emma Gallagher put Armitage on the bench, Alexis Gallegos filled in and capitalized on her first opportunity of the season in the batter’s box and, hitting an RBI for the Sharks to raucous cheers from the dugout.

“The first time she picked up a bat for batting practice was last week,” Sharks head coach Mark Cooley said. 

With Friday’s game being Cate’s first, season or otherwise, the Sharks were met with an inexperienced pitching staff for which they had to adjust their individual offensive strategies. 

“I told the girls to work the short game, everyone needed to get up there and adjust,” Cooley said. “We generated runs. I always tell them to take any advantage they’ll give you.” 

After several games with double-digit victories over their opponents, the girls will have to adjust once again as they head into conference games against stiffer competition. 

“The teams we’re going to see will give us hard heat,” Cooley said. “They’re going to give us very few walks — these are tournament pitchers and players. The girls are working hard all the time and we’re chipping away.”

The girls will face St. Bonaventure on the road at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27.