ELK GROVE — You just knew this one would come down to the wire.
After Davis High edged the Franklin softball team on Tuesday at home, the two squads turned right around for a rematch Wednesday in Elk Grove with huge playoff implications.
And it was the Wildcats who got the inside track on the second of three Delta Valley Conference postseason berths, winning 4-3 in a game that ended with the possible tying run on second base.
For the Blue Devils (8-13, 3-3), it was their eighth one-run loss of the season, six of them by that exact 4-3 score.
“It’s just the way this year has gone,” said DHS coach Art Guerra. “We got hits, but we just couldn’t get that next hit.”
With the Devils down by a single run, that exact scenario played out in the seventh inning when Stanford-bound senior Kaitlyn Lagattuta led off with a double — and was stranded there.
Davis fell behind in the first inning — when two of the first three Franklin batters walked, leading to two Wildcats runs — but battled back with single runs in the second and third frames.
In the second, Maddie Asta got the first of her two hits, and ended up on third base after an error. Rachel Mobley, who also had two hits, knocked her in from there with a single.
The third inning featured a Lagattuta leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt by Emily Ginn and an RBI hit by Asta.
Freshman pitcher Audrey Dufresne went the distance for the locals, staying tough to get out of trouble in nearly every inning. One time she didn’t was in the fourth, as a pair of two-out hits from FHS (4-2 DVC) led to two more Wildcat runs.
DHS got one back in the sixth, when Mobley came home on Faith Harlan’s booming double to the wall in straightaway center.
The result leaves the Blue Devils in a battle with Laguna Creek for the final DVC playoff spot. The two teams match up in Davis on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m.