So throw Santa Cruz’s name into the SCCAL title hat — however improbable that may sound. Remember, this is a team that was 1-8 to start the season.
The Cardinals, winners of three straight, pulled off an impressive 1-0 win over nine innings against SLV on Tuesday. The win positions Santa Cruz a half-game ahead of SLV for second place in league, although the Cardinals have played one more game in league than the Cougars.
Both teams trail Soquel, which remains undefeated in the SCCAL.
Tuesday’s game seemed to go beyond the normal pitcher’s duel that we sometimes see in softball. It started off quick — I think it was the fourth inning some 30 minutes into the game — but then turned into a back-and-forth with scoring opportunities where each team had its chances.
Santa Cruz’s Alex Scott and SLV’s Mariah Lindberg were both impressive, especially when it seemed the pressure couldn’t get any greater. Santa Cruz stranded three runners, all of whom were in scoring position, while SLV left nine runners on base, five of whom were in scoring position.
Credit both defenses, too, each of which turned non-traditional double plays.
It’s almost unfortunate the game ended the way it did — on an error, although it’s not the type of game to hang your head about.
Scott actually came in for relief during the previous game with SLV — an 8-2 Cougars victory. SLV scored six runs in the first inning of that game, though, when Scott came in and surrendered just two more runs — both unearned — over the remaining 5+ innings.
That outing instilled some extra confidence into the senior for Tuesday’s start.
“I knew from last game, they scored on errors,” Scott said after Tuesday’s game. “And I knew if we had fewer errors than them, then we’d beat them.”
Santa Cruz has now surpassed its league win total from a year ago.