The Davis High softball team didn’t secure the Delta Valley Conference crown this week, but after two big wins — including one Wednesday over Franklin — the Blue Devils feel a lot more confident in their ability to finish the league season on top.
Behind the pitching of Sarah Allen-Sutter and Madi Benner, and some solid hitting from up and down the lineup, the locals knocked off the Wildcats, 6-4, at the DHS softball field. The win, coupled with a victory over Elk Grove on Monday, put the Devils (13-8-1, 4-1 DVC) firmly in the conference driver’s seat. The two Davis triumphs this week broke a three-way tie with FHS and EGHS for first place in the DVC.
Allen-Sutter was instrumental in the win, striking out two batters and surrendering only four runs in 6 1/3 innings of action. When Allen-Sutter — who continued to play even after taking a line drive to the arm in the sixth inning — finally began to wear down with one out remaining, Benner stepped in and sealed the deal.
The two pitchers had to be sharp to offset a handful of Blue Devil errors.
“I was a little concerned when (Allen-Sutter) got hit, but she kept throwing,” said DHS head coach Art Guerra. “And it’s tough in those conditions (Wednesday). At last count, I think we were at seven errors. And you’re just giving (the opposing team) extra outs and you just keep fighting and fighting and fighting. She gave up a couple of long ball hits that were doubles, but for the most part, I thought she pitched very, very well.
“I’ve got to say (I’m proud) of Madi. It’s hard to sit there for seven innings and then get asked to go get the last out, especially when she’s been pitching a lot.”
Sydney Rosenblum, Ashley Dufresne and Kaitlyn Lagattuta led the way offensively for Devils, as Rosenblum went 3-for-4 with a double, Dufresne was 3-for-3 and reached base a fourth time on an error, and Lagattuta smacked a pair of doubles.
With their team down 2-0 in the bottom of the first, Rosenblum singled, Lagattuta doubled and Stephanie Cello drew a walk to load the bases. Dufresne followed with a single, but Rosenblum was tagged out just short of home plate.
Tarah Kalinen finally got the locals on the board with a single that brought Lagattuta around, and Maddie Asta had the big hit of the inning with a two-run double to left. The blast plated Cello and Faith Harlan, who was running for Dufresne.
The Wildcats tied it at 3-3 with a tally in the top of the second and the two teams remained deadlocked for two innings before the Blue Devils finally found their rhythm again. With two outs in the fifth, Rosenblum and Lagattuta mirrored their first inning efforts, singling and doubling, respectively. Cello then brought both of them home — and put DHS up 5-3 — with a long single.
The locals got one more run in the bottom of the sixth, when Rosenblum doubled then scored on a hit by Kalinen.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Devils got two quick outs before allowing Franklin to load the bases and squeezing in a run. After that, Benner came in and induced the final out.
Davis now heads into next week’s road games at Grant (Monday) and Laguna Creek (Wednesday) hoping to hang on to first place.
— Reach Will Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org