Meanwhile, the Falcon offense, which has been averaging six runs per game in league play, once again scored six runs to win 6-0. The victory set Freedom up for a quarter-final showdown against Antioch on Wednesday, the results of which were not available at press time.
So dominating is Williams on the mound that the game itself seemed almost anticlimactic. In the first inning she struck out the side – three up and three down – and fanned a total of 12 batters in the game. Castro Valley got a runner to second base only one time – on a walk and a wild pitch with one out in the fifth. But Williams struck out the next batter and got the following one to ground out, ending the Trojans’ only threat in the game.
The main difference in this game versus Freedom’s league finale against Liberty, which Freedom also won 6-0, was that it took a little longer for the Falcon offense to amass a comfortable cushion for Williams to sit on. They did score one run in the first when Kim Westlund hit a triple and came home on a fielder’s choice grounder by Chrissy Stalf.
But the Falcon bats went relatively silent for the next two innings until they exploded with a five-run outburst made up of lots of bloops but no blasts in the fourth that sealed the deal.
It began with Sarah Osborn’s grounder, scoring Katie Wood from third after the catcher dropped the throw to the plate. Then the Falcoans put together an impressive two-out rally in which Westlund singled to knock in Brianna Simpson, Chrissy Stalf singled to knock in Osborn and Williams singled to knock in Westlund and Stalf.
After that, it was just a matter of Williams doing her thing on the mound, mowing down Trojan after Trojan. Other than that one walk in the fifth, the only question for the rest of the game was whether the Castro Valley batters would strike out, pop out, ground out, line out or fly out.
Despite the impressive victory, Freedom Manager Jeff Jonas thought his team could have and should have performed even better.
“I thought we played adequate,” he said. “I don’t think we played our best game. It wasn’t bad. But we have got to ramp it up a little bit for Antioch. I thought we made some base-running mistakes tonight that we haven’t done all season. Hopefully, we got it out of our system. We might have been a little overexcited tonight. We usually play evenly and might have been a little more amped up. It’s nice when you have a real good pitcher who can hit, too.”
That real nice pitcher was satisfied with her one-hitter. “I was mixing in drops and rises and it worked pretty well,” said Williams in an understatement.