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May 3, 2011 > Newark's winning streak reaches five games

Newark's winning streak reaches five games

By Nick Zambrano

Newark Memorial High School's Lady Cougars softball team is officially back on the winning trail. After handling the Cowboys from Salinas High, 9-4, they are now enjoying a five-game winning streak. This is their second longest streak this season, they opened up the season winning their first nine straight.

Marissa Chapa set the pace early on from in the circle. The first six Salinas batters she faced were sent back to the dugout by way of a strikeout.

"Yeah, I just felt good today and I was just in a groove again," Chapa said of her hot start.

In typical Newark fashion, Chapa's pitching helped set the table for the offense. Freshman Laurisa Hernandez led off the bottom of the third with an opposite field double to right field. After Regan Rodriguez got a walk to first, it was time to inflict some damage. Ali Reed stirred the pot after her routine sacrifice bunt turned the inning into a fielding fiasco for Salinas.

Hernandez went to third on the play but a sporadic throw allowed her to score uncontested. The loose ball trailed down the left field line long enough to also allow Rodriguez from first. After it was all said and done, it was 2-0 in Newark's favor and Reed was standing on third. Chapa would knock Reed in for the inning's final run with a line drive single to left field.

"She looks to them for support on offense and it definitely helps them," said Newark Memorial head coach Rachel Kahoalii of Chapa's connection with her offense.

The rally cries continued into the Newark fourth. Senior Katie Burdick started a hit parade with a double into left center field and then we she would advance to third on a follow-up double by Oceana Acosta-Orndoff. First baseman Jenai Rojo made it three consecutive doubles with her two-run shot into right center.

Rodriguez, the Newark leadoff hitter, decided to up the ante after witnessing the three straight doubles. With two outs now and the score now at 5-0, Rodriguez blasted a triple that bounced off the right field wall and Rojo scored without difficulty to make it 6-0. The freshman Rodriguez finished the game at 1-3 with three runs scored and a run batted in.

Reed pestered Salinas once again, this time with an RBI single that put the score at 7-0. After Reed's single, it took a double from Chapa and walk from Erica Contreras to load the bases. And that is when the Lady Cougars officially batted around the order as Burdick stepped to the plate for a second hack.

And before the inning could finally come to a close, Burdick ripped a single to left. Reed scored but Desirae Gamez, who was Chapa's courtesy runner, was thrown out trying to extend the score and the inning was finally sealed. Burdick's final line for her impressive day was 2-4 with a double, a run scored and one RBI.

Salinas finally got on the scoreboard in the last two innings but at that point, it was too late. After a three-run sixth, Chapa composed herself again before Salinas could really threaten her again.

"I fell out of my groove for a little bit, so I was just trying to come back to that," Chapa commented.

In spite of the late push, Chapa compiled 13 strikeouts, gave up three walks and three hits. At the plate, she had a solid day, going 2-3 with a double and an RBI.

After surrendering a run in both the third and fifth innings, James Logan found themselves in unfamiliar territory. They were actually trailing going into their final nine outs.

However, through the efforts of pitcher Raeann Garza, the Lady Colts found the winning edge once again. The sophomore propelled a six-run rally in the fifth inning with a two-run single and a run scored. She'd finish the Lady Dons off going 3-4 with a run scored at the plate and going all seven innings, with seven strike outs in the circle.

Not alone in her efforts, Garza got some run support from outfielder and fellow pitcher Kimberly Goulart. Goulart was 1-2 but had an additional two runs batted in and a run scored in that fifth inning rally.

Since this game was on Monday, April 25, the Lady Colts enjoyed the rest of the week off. They are now 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the MVAL. Up next, Logan will return to MVAL action when they play Irvington on May 3.

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