Titans puts pressure on Edna defense in season-opening victory
Feb. 14, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.
The first pitch of the 2012 season was a screwball.
Alexis Soto watched Alisha Quinterro's pitch spin toward her, falling just below the knees for a ball. The Edna left fielder lined the next pitch to center field for a single.
Soto's single was one of just two hits the sophomore East pitcher would allow as she led Victoria East to a 10-0 shutout in Tuesday's season opener for both teams.
The contest was far more competitive throughout the first four innings, but errors doomed the Cowgirls. East scored five unearned runs in the fifth inning to open up a 7-0 lead on Edna.
"They challenged us with being a sound team," said Edna head coach Kathy Johnson. "They minimized their errors. It's hard to beat a team that is fundamentally stronger than you," Johnson said."
An Ashley Strelec single with one out in the sixth inning drove home Jennie Johnson and Sabrina Suarez to invoke the mercy rule. Strelec was 1-3 with 2 RBIs, but she reached base in three of her four plate appearances.
Throughout the preseason, head coach Jody Morgan has emphasized the Titans on-base percentage, not necessarily their collective batting average. Whether the Titans get a hit, earn a walk, or get hit by a pitch, Morgan wants them to find a way on base-then cause terror once they are on the base paths.
"We have so much depth," Morgan said. "We are able to disperse one through nine. They can all do more than hit. They can slap, they can bunt, they can push bunt. We have so many tools one through nine and that's what helps us a lot."
It also helps to have a very good pitcher in the circle. One who is more than capable of helping herself at the plate.
Quinterro pitched all six innings, allowing no runs and two hits, three walks while striking out eight. Her line drive to left field in the bottom of the fifth forced Edna into a two-base error and another error, which allowed Johnson, Suarez and Quinterro to score.
Edna pitcher Alex Hight matched Quinterro for four innings. In each inning she forced the Titans to leave a runner on base. Titan third baseman Marina Rios (2-3, 2 runs) scored both of the earned runs Hight allowed after leading off the first, then the third inning with extra base hits.
Edna missed five girls due to commitments to basketball. However, head coach Kathy Johnson said the Cowgirls game against East provided an opportunity to improve for those who were on hand.
Johnson praised Hights for her focus and coolness when in the circle.
"We can't get down on ourselves," Johnson said. "When they started to get the big lead emotionally and on our face you could see it. We weren't able to come back from it.
"Besides, the errors, that's something we are going to have to work on. We've done it before, so it's not anything we have not done as a team, but that is something we will have to get stronger at. (Tuesday) we were not."