Taft shuts out Liberty at home
It was one thing to win the title on the road last year, it was another for the No.1 seeded Taft varsity softball team to win at home. They accomplished that second goal Friday afternoon when they blew past the No.2 seeded Liberty Hawks 6-0 in the CIF- Central Section Division IV title game.
Taft's offense started off slowly with one run in the bottom half of the first inning on Haylee Tracy' s one out double and Caitlyn Emberson's single off the Liberty first baseman's to put runners at first and third. Corie Evans followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in the run.
The Lady Wildcats doubled their lead in the bottom of the second inning with back-to-back one out singles from Katie Evans and Makenzie Thornsberry. After a putout at third base, Olivia Ortleib singled in the run.
Taft broke open the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when Emberson led off with a single to left field. Emberson was sacrificed over to second before taking third on a passed ball and scoring on a wild pitch. Katie Evans started the rally again with two outs with a double to right field. Thornsberry capped the scoring outburst by crushing a home run over the right field fence.
The Lady Wildcats had one more chance to add onto their lead in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases on a two base error, Ortleib's single and a walk to Emberson. However, the Lady Hawks got out of the jam.
While Taft was able to break through, the farthest a Liberty runner got on the base paths was second base and the only time they were able to do that was in the second and fourth innings.
All together, Arizona Pilgrim gave up five hits while striking out six batters. Pilgrim was not the only one in the field to step up. In the second third baseman Corie Evans tagged out a runner at third base to end a rally. In the fourth Katie Evans made a running catch in left field while Tracy turned a double play by catching a line drive in the third inning.