WOODLAND — The Davis High softball team is developing a pattern in the early part of the season: giving up runs early, then rallying late.
On Thursday at Woodland, the late comeback attempt fell just short as the Wolves held off the Blue Devils, 4-3.
It was another in a string of close losses against good teams, as DHS — which was playing without star Kaitlyn Lagattuta — fell to 3-5 on the year.
Though disappointed by the loss, Devil coach Art Guerra was proud of his squad as they competed hard, especially from the circle. Freshman Audrey Dufresne started, allowing all four runs in the first two frames, but most of them were unearned as Davis made five errors.
Junior Rachel Mobley came on in the third, getting out of a jam with a pair of strikeouts. She finished the game without allowing another run.
“Rachel pitched the best she has all year,” Guerra said. “If she looks that good the rest of the season, we’ll be in good shape.
“Audrey did a nice job, too. I think it was the best combined pitching game we’ve had this season.”
But mistakes hurt the locals as they missed cut-off men and made errors on the base paths that were too much to overcome.
Trailing 4-0 from the second inning on, it wasn’t until the top of the fifth that the Blue Devils finally got on the board. Senior Danielle Styers led off the inning with a single, then came all the way around to score when Woodland played fast and loose with Catherine Slabaugh’s sacrifice bunt.
In the top of the seventh, Styers again got DHS started with a leadoff single. After Slabaugh followed with a hit, senior slugger Ashley Dufresne knocked them both in with a single of her own. But that was it for the Devil scoring.
“We need to get the bats going a little bit more,” Guerra said. “But as I told the kids, it is all about (Delta Valley Conference play). As long as we keep getting better for league, we’ll be OK.”
With that in mind — Davis opens its DVC schedule on March 31 — Guerra plans to take it easy with Lagattuta, who injured her hamstring on her inside-the-park home run in Tuesday’s win over Inderkum. The coach added that Emily Ginn did a great job filling in at shortstop.
The Blue Devils have four home games next week as they host Yuba City (Monday), El Camino (Tuesday), Del Campo (Wednesday) and Pleasant Grove (Friday). Each contest begins at 4:15 p.m.