By Patrick Dillon
lindsay – Already having the East Sequoia League (ESL)title wrapped up the goal for the Lindsay Cardinals (17-9; 14-1) was to earn a good playoff seed. The only way the Cardinals were going to be able to do that was to show how strong of a team there were. In their final game of the season Lindsay did just that with a 23-6 win over the Strathmore Spartans (8-19; 4-11) in five innings.
“We came in with a mentality to start practicing for the playoffs,” said Lindsay head coach Izzy Torres. “We wanted to get our flow going.”
It was not until the bottom of the third inning that the Cardinals were able to come out of a slump that they found themselves in. Trailing 4-1 the Cardinals brought across eight runs to retake the lead 9-4. From then on, the Cardinals poured on the runs adding another 14 in the fourth inning.
When the Spartans only scored one in the top of the fifth to make it 23-6 the mercy rule was put into effect and the game was stopped.
The Cardinals had three batters go four for five from the plate in Danielle Jauregui, Marlene Gutierrez, and Sierra Torres. Both Gutierrez and Torres drove in four RBIs each. While Jauregui led the Cardinals in runs scored with four.
While all those were impressive numbers the first two and a half innings did not go the Cardinals way. Having already brought one run across in thebottom of the first, the Cardinals looked to build their lead early. With the bases loaded and two outs Danielle Murguia hit a ground ball in between second and third base.
Strathmore’s Ally Holloway at short stop went to her right to field the ball. That was when Lindsay’s Lesly Lira, running from second to third, collided with Holloway allowing the ball to roll into the outfield. Two runs scored for the Cardinals. Then after it was determined that Lira interfered with Holloway’s ability to field the ball Lira was called out and the two runs were removed.
“I’m not the official but I do like the fact that they talked about the call before they made it,” said Coach Torres. “But in a closer game a call like that will matter.”
The lack of pitching for the Spartans was to blame for the surge of runs by the Cardinals in the middle innings. The Spartans went with Makayla Trujillo, one of their two solid pitchers. Eventually the Cardinals began to wear down Trujillo and the hits began to find openings in the infield.
“We kind of struggled in the fourth and fifth innings,” said Strathmore head coach Martin Hernandez. “We had a good group but just no solid pitching staff.”
With the loss, the Spartans missed the post season by one game.
Despite the win and the ESL title Lindsay got no favors from the playoff seeding committee. The Cardinals were given the thirteenth seed in the D-V playoffs. They will have to travel up to play the fourth seed McLane Highlanders (15-8-1; 5-5) out of the North Yosemite League (NYL). The game took place on May 16 of which the final happened after press time.
“I don’t understand how Lindsay comes up 14-1 in league and we get the thirteenth seed,” said coach Izzy. “A the end of the day its very disappointing but we can’t change it and we’ve got to move on.”
McLane has lost three out of their last four games to complete the regular season. That finish put them in third place in the NYL.
As for the Strathmore Spartans, they will miss this year’s post season. This makes it eight years in a row for the Spartans. Strathmore last made the post season and won the ESL in 2008.