Liberty had a chance to strike early and get ahead when Victoria Bradshaw hit a lead off double off Madison Williams. After a wild pitch advanced Bradshaw to third and Christine Sibbitt walked and stole second, Williams had her back to the wall. But she ended the Liberty threat by striking out Devon Jamerson and getting Brooke Edwards to pop out.
Freedom wasted no time taking the initiative and dominating the game. Kim Westlund led off the Falcon first with a walk and Priscilla Olmos reached on an infield single. After they were advanced on a sacrifice bunt, Jackie Zepeda smoked a three-run homer to straightaway center field, giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead – all the support Williams would need.
The Falcons batted around in the fourth inning, scoring five runs and putting the game out of reach. They added one run in the sixth to close out the scoring. Williams went the full seven innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Zepeda finished three for four with four RBIs, two runs scored, a stolen base and a triple.
“Individually, I thought that there were some good performances,” said Freedom Manager Jeff Jonas. “I thought we played pretty solid. When you have substitutions on the fly like we had today, it throws us off a little bit with our timing – although three of the kids that came in ended up getting on base, and that’s good to see. It’s always good to play everyone and have everyone get an at-bat. So those things were positives.”
Despite the convincing win, Jonas said there’s still room for improvement. “I think sometimes the natural tendency when you get up early is to kind of take your feet off the gas pedal a little bit, and we did that a little bit today,” he said. “I didn’t think that Maddie’s breaking stuff was a sharp as it has been. But overall, I think it’s a good game. I knew that we were going to be a little bit loose since were trying to do this thing for Haiti. We made at least $175, so we feel good about that. It was a good day overall.”
Assessing the rest of the season, Jonas said, “I think it’s all a matter of how focused we are mentally. Are we going to teach them a bunch of new stuff? Not now; not this late in the year. It just comes down to our focus. We’ve been pretty good at getting focused for the big games; we haven’t really had any emotional or mental letdowns. We’ve been beaten a couple of times but I can live with that, if we just get beat.”
The Falcons close out the regular season on Tuesday, May 18, hosting Deer Valley, and then travel to Antioch on Thursday, May 20. The Lions will close out the season next week at Pittsburg on May 18 and at home against Heritage on May 20.