Where to start with Davis High’s game at Pioneer on Tuesday. How about this?
“That’s the best game I’ve ever been involved with,” Blue Devil coach Art Guerra told The Enterprise after his team lost 7-6 to the Patriots in a nine-inning affair.
“That’s what high school softball is all about. You’re not usually happy after a loss but I’m just so proud of the kids.”
The gutsy DHS performance was epitomized by sophomore pitcher Madi Benner, who went all nine innings, scattering nine hits. Benner, who was nursing an injury after taking a line drive to the midsection just a few days ago, earned the admiration of her coach.
“Madi just threw her little heart out. She went all nine innings and I couldn’t be prouder of her,” Guerra said. “We didn’t have anyone else so she had to go out there and she did a great job.”
But at the end of it all, it was Pioneer getting the win when Gabby Davis — a player with more local ties than just a common last name — smacked a walk-off home run in the bottom of the night. Davis plays with many of the Blue Devils on the Commotion club team and is the daughter of UC Davis men’s basketball assistant coach Chris Davis.
“You just have to tip your cap to her,” Guerra said.
Seemingly days earlier, the Devils opened the game by scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Later, after tallying twice in the top of the fifth, Davis had built a 6-2 lead.
The Patriots, however, scored four runs in the bottom of the frame to tie things up and set up a tense final four innings.
“There were a ton of positives. We got put in every conceivable late-game situation (in the extra innings) so from a coaching standpoint, it was great because we got that experience and we executed,” Guerra said. “Now, when we are in those situations in the future, they won’t panic because they have been there.”
The Blue Devils had a long list of contributors as Tarah Kalinen blasted a home run and Sydney Rosenblum had three hits of her own. Ashley Dufresne, who called a great game behind the plate, also reached three base three times — on two hits and an intentional walk.
Stephanie Cello added a pair of doubles, while Kaitlyn Lagattuta added a two-bagger among her two hits.
DHS girls soccer
A nearly two-week break between games didn’t suit the Davis High girls soccer team as it traveled to Rio Americano on Tuesday and dropped a 3-0 decision to the Raiders.
The Blue Devils (6-3-1) has reasons for struggling — including Rio’s drastically different field style and great play from a couple of Raiders standouts — but DHS coach Sara Stone was disappointed that her team wasn’t able to make the proper adjustments.
“They had a super small field and it was super bouncy and we just couldn’t find a way to get into our game,” Stone said. “We are really spoiled on our field but we have to learn how to make the adjustments.
“They had a couple of good players and they were super physical but … we didn’t come in prepared mentally. We were turning the ball over into their strengths and that’s the difference between a good team and a great team.”
The Devils, who hadn’t taken the pitch for a match since a 1-0 win over Del Oro on March 7, were scored upon Tuesday for the first time since the season-opening tournament at St. Mary’s in February.
There were few Davis bright spots against Rio, but a second-half save by freshman Madison MacKenzie was one of them. Stone also reported solid outings by midfielders Makenzie DeLaughder and Emily Gao as well as a few flashes of good play from Renee Schuman.
The coach added that she would rather her team get a disappointing loss like this out of the way early in the year. The Blue Devils have their first chance to redeem themselves on Thursday as Vista Del Lago is in town for a 7 p.m. contest. After that, DHS has two more nonconference matches in March before opening Delta Valley Conference play at Franklin on Monday, April 1.
DHS boys tennis
Playing their final match before heading to Louisville, Ky., for a national invitational tournament, the Blue Devils sent themselves off in style with a 6-3 victory over host Deer Valley in Antioch.
The encounter featured some competitive doubles matches as the two teams split a pair of three-set contests with locals Isaac Zhang and Sean Mishra teaming for a 5-7, 6-0, 10-8 win at No. 1. The DHS duo of Dan Segedin and Chase Kellison went the other way at No. 2, prevailing 6-0, 6-0.
In singles, the Devils’ No. 2 player Isaac Yee, No. 3 Phil Glazer, No. 5 Tris Dutta and No. 6 Bob Li all won is straight sets. Li dropped just one game and Dutta lost just two.
Davis leaves Thursday for the DecoTurf High School Tennis Championships, where it will face off against 15 elite teams from around the country.
Aggie senior Katie Yamamura has been selected as one of 10 female finalists for the 2013 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, presented by the magazine Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Co-sponsored by the NCAA, the award was created by Black Issues In Higher Education, now known as Diverse, to recognize undergraduate minority student-athletes who achieve academically, athletically and in the campus and community.
Candidates must hold a grade-point average of 3.2 or higher. More than 500 men and women were nominated with only 10 men and 10 women chosen as finalists.
Yamamura, last year’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Year and the university’s W.P. Lindley Award recipient as the year’s top scholar-athlete, is wrapping up a record-breaking career in the UC Davis gymnastics program. She holds the school benchmark in the all-around at 39.325, a feat she has achieved twice in the past three weeks.
In the classroom, Yamamura has compiled a 3.95 GPA in her major of neurobiology, physiology and behavior. She has earned All-Academic nods from both the conference and the national coaches’ association every year. Last year, Yamamura added a Capital One Academic All-America second-team selection, as voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
The winner of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards will be announced in the April 2013 issue of Diverse.