Your softball team is struggling to get the bunt down. It’s had trouble stringing hits together. Then, on Friday, leading hitter Danielle Styers (.411) resigns from the squad.
So what happens on Monday against visiting Grant?
Davis High collects 17 hits, scores bundles of runs and sends the Pacers packing in a 13-3 mercy-rule decision.
Along the way, Blue Devil coach Art Guerra thinks it’s a signal that his Delta Valley Conference fourth-place team is about to throw its helmet into the postseason ring.
With three DVC games left, DHS is 4-3 (9-15 overall) and remains a game behind Laguna Creek — the team it meets Wednesday (4:15 p.m.) at DHS.
“We’re hitting! And we’re getting them when we need to get them!” a smiling Guerra said after watching his charges leave only five runners on base. “We got the bunts down, put hits back-to-back-to-back, then delivered the sacrifices.
“Not doing that is what’s been killing us.”
Coming into Monday, the Devils had dropped four of five (fortunately, two were nonleague setbacks).
Against Grant, Davis broke through early …
In the first inning, Catherine Slabaugh opened with a bloop single, then Kaitlyn Lagattuta rocketed a liner off the Pacer second baseman’s shin. When the ricochet was finally collected in center field, Lagattuta had an RBI double.
Next, third baseman Emily Ginn smacked the first of her four hits — another RBI double — to score Lagattuta.
Ashley Dufresne then singled sharply to left, forcing Ginn to stop at third.
No sweat for these Blue Devils on this day …
Maddie Asta followed with a triple off the right-center field fence. In came Ginn and Dufresne and the rout was on.
A triple by Dominque Sommer greeted Grant hurler Brittany Guzman in the second. Back-to-back doubles by Lagattuta and Ginn were followed by a Pacer error, allowing the Devils to score three more in that frame.
Meanwhile, Grant (4-15, 0-7) tapped DHS starter Rachel Mobley (6-5) for two in the second and one in the third. But the junior right-hander settled in to hold the guests scoreless the rest of the way. For good measure, she fanned the side in the last inning.
“All the way around, this was a good game for us,” Guerra added.
In Davis’ five-run fourth inning, Audrey Dufresne hammered a two-run triple and scored, while Rachel Clift singled, drove in a run and also scored.
Ginn’s single to right closed out Grant in the fifth (scoring Lagattuta with her third run of the game). Ginn also scored three times.
Elk Grove (15-6, 7-0) leads the DVC with Franklin (6-12, 4-3) now tied with the Devils in the standings. Monterey Trail, DHS’ May 5 road opponent, brings up the rear at 5-13, 1-6.
DHS and Elk Grove meet in Davis on May 7 (Senior Day).
Notes: It’s déjà vu all over again: With Sac-Joaquin playoffs taking three DVC schools, if Laguna Creek, Davis and Franklin tie for second in the standings, it will result in an odd-girl-out coin flip. Blue Devil fans will remember a coin flip DHS lost several years ago to Franklin. Guerra has had a special coin minted just in case. … The Stanford-bound senior Lagattuta’s hits included two doubles and a triple. Ginn had three doubles. Sommer tripled, singled, had an RBI and scored. Mobley gave up seven hits. … Grant catcher Christine Wynn tripled and singled and Guzman was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Both scored.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-320-4456.