It’s not often that you win a softball game in the first inning.
But that’s exactly what Davis High did against Monterey Trail on Monday night.
The Blue Devils scored 13 runs in the bottom of the first, then cruised the rest of the way in a 17-2 victory over the Mustangs at the DHS field.
The electrifying performance couldn’t have come at a more fitting time as the Devils sent 12th-graders Sydney Rosenblum, Tarah Kalinen and Stephanie Cello out on a high note as part of the team’s Senior Day celebration. Fittingly, all three played integral roles in the victory, with Rosenblum going 2-for-4 and Kalinen and Cello each finishing 2-for-3.
“All three of them had a great day,” Davis head coach Art Guerra said afterward. “On Senior Day, you always want the best for them.
“I was very proud of them. It was hard (for) that group, being my second year here and they went through a lot last year with me.”
Junior Ashley Dufresne knocked in a pair of home runs and, along with her senior counterparts, was a big reason why the Blue Devils were able to get off to such a fast start.
After Kaitlyn Lagattuta and Cello singled to open the first inning, Dufresne sent a pitch careening over the left-field fence and into the field beyond to put DHS up 3-0.
The gap between the two teams continued to grow as Kalinen and Emily Ginn each singled and then scored on a triple from Maddie Asta, who crossed the plate on a single by Olivia Schmidt. After advancing to second on an error drawn by Catherine Slabaugh and to third on a single by Rosenblum, Schmidt made it home on a single by Lagattuta.
Things spiraled completely out of control for the Mustangs when Cello smashed a double through the middle to bring Slabaugh, Rosenblum and Lagattuta to the plate, and Dufrense added her second homer to set up another two scores.
Kalinen capped off the barrage by doubling and scoring on a Ginn sac fly.
Monterey Trail brought in new pitcher Elizabeth Corona after the first inning. She was able to hold the Devils scoreless in the second and third frames, but couldn’t keep them at bay forever.
In the bottom of the fourth, Faith Harlan smashed a pitch deep into center field and beat the ball home for an inside-the-park home run that put DHS up 14-2.
From there, Lagattuta, Madi Yule and Kalinen all added runs to give the Blue Devils their grand total of 17, and pitcher Sarah Allen-Sutter made short work of the Mustangs in the top of the fifth to end the game.
Allen-Sutter came in for starter Madi Benner midway through the third and went on to strike out three batters while surrendering only two runs. Benner had three strikeouts of her own.
On offense, Lagattuta finished 4-for-4 with three singles and a double, while Asta was 3-for-4 with a double and a triple.
After the game, DHS honored its three seniors with a brief ceremony at home plate followed by a barbecue.
All in all, the day was a light one for the team. But a much more difficult — and pivotal — task lies ahead.
With Monday’s victory, the Blue Devils (16-8-1, 8-1 Delta Valley Conference) are tied with Elk Grove (19-6, 8-1) at the top of the conference. The two teams will decide the DVC title, and which will get the league’s top seed in next week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament, with a 4:15 p.m. contest at Elk Grove on Wednesday.
— Reach Will Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org