Lady Vaqs Defeat L.A. Mission with Back-to-Back Shutouts – Grab WSC Second Place – Exclusive Slideshow Coverage
April 24, 2012
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With the postseason on the line, sophomore Brandy Morin pitched a masterful shutout victory against L.A. Mission College, rested for 30 minutes, and then did it again.
The Vaqs locked up second-place in the Western State Conference (Blue Division) and earned a trip the playoffs on Tuesday, when they shutout and mercy-ruled L.A. Mission 8-0 at home, in both of their crucial doubleheader games.
Slideshow Media Credit: John Ferrara
“We had to win them both, it wasn’t like we could win one and lose one … they stepped it up,” said coach Dave Wilder.
Glendale took control of the first game early. Morin struck out three of the first seven batter she faced, and in the bottom of the second, the Vaqs poured on six runs. Morin and outfielder Carley Zabka each racked up 2 RBI’s in the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Vaqueros were able to score two more runs when third baseman Kitty Nguyen and Catcher Jena Kaser blasted back to back triples, giving Glendale a precious 8-0 lead. If a team can maintain an eight run lead throughout the fifth inning, a mercy-rule goes into effect, ending the game in five innings.
The top of the fifth became exciting when two Mission players were able to reach base and put the valuable eight run lead in jeopardy. However Morin found her composure and retired the next two batters to get the win.
The second game seemed to pick up right where the first left off, as Morin retook the mound in defiance of modern sports strategy, and continued to dominate.
In the bottom of the third, there was a slight delay. Not due to rain, but helicopter.
In an adjacent field, a Glendale Fire Department helicopter was parked for an annual brush training program according to Glendale firefighter Peter Galindo. The chopper lifted off the field and flew directly overhead awing onlookers young and old.
In the bottom of the third the Vaqs immediately regained the crowds attention when they loaded the bases for an inside the park grand slam by Nguyen. They continued to rally, and finished the third inning with a 7-0 lead.
Glendale’s four, five and six hitters; Nguyen, Kaser, and Mynia Bogan are part of a strategy coach Wilder calls his “murder’s row.”
“They’re just power. You see our four, five and six, forget it … when we get the first three [batters] on, we score all the time,” said Wilder.
The Vaqs were able to squeeze out one more run in the fourth, with some strategic bunting and base stealing, once again setting themselves up for an 8-0 mercy-rule victory.
Morin consecutively retired all three batters in the fifth inning, icing the final batter with her tenth strike-out on the day.
Morin, admitted to getting tired in the double header, but found the strength to get her team the win.
“I have to push myself … they deserve it,” said Morin about her teammates.
“Brandy’s excellent, she’s such a fighter,” said Nguyen.
The Vaq’s incredible finish to an impressive regular season, brought coach Wilder to tears as he addressed his team in the post game huddle. Players awed and embraced each other in the heartwarming moment.
In honor of the final regular season game, team mom Lynne Kaser arranged for roses and personal cakes to be handed out to all the sophomores who have played their last eligible season for Glendale.
However the Vaqs aren’t finished yet, as they now have to set their sights on the post season.
“Were going nuts right now, we just got the ok to have the weekend off so we can rest-up and come hungry for the next game,” said Nguyen.
The Vaqs seem confident heading into the playoffs and if they can keep up this level of play, they are a legitimate threat to win it all.
“Nobody wants to play us in the playoffs, I guarantee you,” said Wilder.