By Mike Bebernes
After struggling with control in the first inning, Sawyer Hulbert pitched six consecutive shutout innings to lead St. Ignatius to a 8-2 win over Lowell Saturday at Fairmont Field in Pacifica.
The Wildcats (11-3) opened the game by surrendering two runs, one on a fielding error, in the top of the first. Hulbert had trouble finding the strike zone, walking two and facing hitter’s counts throughout the inning.
“I think I had first-inning jitters,” said Hulbert. “I went out into the bullpen after the first inning and worked on hitting my spots. After that I settled down and really felt confident in my pitches.”
Hulbert was perfect for the next four innings, not allowing a baserunner until the sixth inning. She finished the complete game win having given up just one earned run with seven strikeouts and only two walks.
“Once the pitcher settled down, I think we were all uphill from there,” said St. Ignatius Head Coach Karen Cota.
The Cardinals (7-1), who average more than nine runs a game, never found their power at the plate.
“We just couldn’t put the bat down on the ball,” said Lowell Head Coach Sasha Ray. “We just could not get our hitting up. We just weren’t where we’re supposed to be.”
St. Ignatius got on the board in the second inning when Emiko Goldstone hit a deep RBI triple, though Goldstone was tagged out at home trying to complete an inside the park home run.
The Wildcats tacked on two more runs in the third inning and another in the fifth, but Cardinal pitcher Alina Werth kept the game close with timely outs.
St. Ignatius finally broke Werth, scoring four runs in the sixth inning. Elena Vierra and Tala Fallahee both had triples in the inning, but the big blow came in the form of a three-run home run by Courtney Gong.
“The confidence just swells after something like that happens,” said Cota.