Goddard's comeback slips away in state quarterfinal after 7-run hole
Two batters in, Goddard had committed two errors and was down on the scoreboard.
The Lions committed three errors in their 7-4 loss to Mill Valley on Thursday in the Class 5A state quarterfinals. They made a few flashy plays and made a case for a comeback but often fell victim to nerves.
In the bottom of the first, Mill Valley's Lilly Blecha hit a dribbler to sophomore pitcher Sydni Williams, who delivered an errant throw to first and brought a run across. That misfortune didn't end until the top of the sixth.
Mill Valley pitcher Lauren Florez came into the inning with a one-hitter in the bag, but Krystal Castorena got the hitting started for Goddard with a single to right field. Kinley Poynter, Emme Yost and Micah North all followed her with hits of their own. The score was 7-2.
After a three-up, three-down seventh, Goddard came back up to the plate and did it again.
Torri Vang, Williams, Castorena and Poynter delivered hits to cut the deficit to three runs, but the comeback fell short as Brooklyn Gallagher roped a ball to right field that was caught on the run. The Lions had eight of their nine hits in the sixth and seventh innings.
"It was just nerves," coach Rita Smith said. "You could tell after a couple of innings, they calmed down and gained confidence.
"Hitting is contagious."
There were bright spots through the first few innings though. Outfielders Lynsey VanMetre and Krystal Castorena made outstanding plays to keep the Lions in it.
First, in the bottom of the fourth, VanMetre tracked a ball to the fence, leaped and brought back a home run that would have made it a four-run game.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Mill Valley's Ava Bredwell lined a ball to the gap in right field. Castorena tracked it, dived and snagged the ball on her stomach. A miss would have sent Bredwell at least to third.
Goddard seemed to be on the ropes of a run-rule loss, so their comeback was encouraging, Smith said. The Lions' seniors have been to state three of the past four seasons, something Smith said they should be proud of.
"I was proud that we didn't just lay down," she said. "We battled back. ... I wish we could have had two more innings."