Softball: Triple play can't even bring down Simi Valley
Before Thursday, it had been a while since I had seen a triple play. In fact, my last triple play experience came while I was baking my brain covering a late-season minor league baseball game out in Adelanto (it's OK if you don't know or care where that is).
Anyway, after Thousand Oaks first baseman Karli Adkins turned a fifth-inning triple play against Simi Valley's fastest runners, I felt the Lancers' 1-0 lead would be enough to send the Pioneers to their first loss. After all, it was the first HS softball triple play I had ever seen and I felt the game's momentum was totally in the Lancers' favor.
Well, something tells me I better work on my ESP before I ever doubt Simi Valley's resiliency again.
Simi Valley rallied in the sixth, tying the score on a double by Tawny Reeger before scoring the winning run off the bat of Amber Olive to escape with a 2-1 victory over TO -- the Pioneers' third victory over their Marmonte League rivals this season. Olive's blooper to shallow left field should have been the final out of the inning, but the catchable ball popped out of Brooke Johnson's glove as she sprinted toward the diamond.
Still, despite the dose of luck, Simi Valley showed everybody at Rancho Santa Susana Park why its 23-0 and destined to win this year's Marmonte League title. Coach Russ Michael said his team never gave up hope -- even though he said he was a little worried following the triple play. And today's game illustrates a brand of toughness that will serve the Pioneers well in the postseason.
Oh, and here's what Reeger had to say about the game (Note: In the video, I said she drove in the winning run, but she actually drove in the tying run. I realized my boo-boo about five seconds after I said it).
Also, that's Simi Valley pitcher Amanda Oliveto in the photo. The sophomore had another solid game, allowing three hits and striking out four, but she injured her right ankle while celebrating after the game (Reeger explains what happened in the video). She had to be helped off the field, but Michael was confident his ace was more embarrassed than injured.
He said the ol' bag-of-ice treatment should do the trick and let's hope that's all it is.
-- Austin Knoblauch