It was apparent early on Tuesday that it wasn’t going to be the Davis High softball team’s day.
And by the time the Blue Devils got anything going, it was too late to prevent a 13-3 nonconference loss to Granite Bay at the DHS field.
The defeat, which ended after five innings due to the mercy rule, sent the Devils to 7-12 on the season.
The game hadn’t even started when things started to go awry as Davis’ scheduled starting pitcher, freshman Audrey Dufresne, had to be scratched minutes before the first pitch due to sickness. Once the contest was underway, the Grizzlies wasted no time in compounding the problems by notching five runs in the first inning.
A variety of mental mistakes plagued the locals and aided the visitors, digging a deep hole for the Blue Devils.
“We got beat (Tuesday) because we just weren’t mentally ready to play,” said DHS manager Art Guerra. “We just acted like we weren’t ready to play.”
Granite Bay tacked on two more runs in the third inning, and six more in the fifth as it complemented the Devil mistakes with potent hitting. The visitors had 15 hits in the ball game, with every starter reaching base at least once.
Davis kept fighting at the plate, however, even as the deficit continued to grow. The way the Blue Devil batters worked the Granite Bay pitcher gave local fans a glimpse at DHS’ potential.
“(We had) great at-bats,” Guerra said. “The kids stayed aggressive, they got deep in the count.”
Senior catcher Ashley Dufresne finally gave that Devil offense a jolt when she led off the fourth inning with a double. Senior Maddie Asta followed with a single, which moved Dufresne to third.
Junior Dominique Sommer then brought Dufresne home by pushing a bunt through a gap in the Grizzlies’ defense for an RBI single. Two batters later, junior Rachel Mobley knocked Asta in with a single down the left field-line.
In the fifth inning, Davis’ Kaitlyn Lagattuta took it upon herself to add some scoring when she slammed the first pitch of the at-bat over the right-field fence for a solo home run. But, with the Blue Devils still trailing by 10 runs, Lagattuta’s blast wasn’t enough to keep the game going.
Though DHS lost by a sizable margin, Guerra found some positives that his team can take into next week’s crucial three-game set of Delta Valley Conference games:
“I walk away from here very proud of where we’re at,” Guerra said. “We’re starting to get the aspect of taking some pitches.”
The Devils will need that plate discipline when they head to Elk Grove on Monday, followed by matchups with Franklin next Tuesday (at home, 4:15 p.m.) and Wednesday. While the Thundering Herd is a relatively known quantity, the Wildcats are a bit of a wild card.
“Elk Grove is the No. 1 team in the section, but we’ve beaten them every year,” Guerra said. “Franklin, that’s kind of the question mark. They could be a team that we just 10-run, or they could be a team that 10-runs us.”
— Reach Spencer Ault at [email protected]