Even after winning Thursday, Shadow Ridge softball coach Art Cassman thought his team’s season might be over. He couldn’t have been happier to be wrong.
The Mustangs used a 5-2 home victory over Legacy to secure the Northwest League’s final berth in the Sunset Region tournament.
Shadow Ridge (15-9) and Legacy (18-9) finished tied for fourth in the Northwest at 10-6. The Mustangs took the final seed based on a tiebreaker, ostensibly for sweeping second-place Arbor View.
Shadow Ridge was 7-6 entering the week but won three games in three days, including a 15-9 victory over Arbor View on Tuesday.
“We knew it was a must-win game (Thursday) no matter what,” Cassman said. “We weren’t quite positive how it was going to break down, but we knew to have a shot we had to win the game. It’s been a pretty intense week overall, and they knew they had to come out here this week and play softball. I give it up to the girls for doing the job, and getting it done.”
The Mustangs used a three-run fifth to break a 2-2 tie. Shadow Ridge finally hit the ball hard against Legacy starter Sierra Pico in the inning.
Danette Daguiar led off with a bunt single, and scored when Krislyn Campos lined a sharp double to center.
Cleanup hitter Justin Garganese then hit a one-hopper off the fence in left-center field for an RBI double, and she scored on an error.
“The girls, they’re great hitters,” Cassman said. “And when they come out to hit the ball, they can punish it. That’s how they beat Arbor View, and that’s how we win. We win on hitting the ball hard and just running the bases well and playing our game.”
It was the second big hit of the game for Garganese, who had a two-run double with two outs in the third.
“Justin clutched up, which was a really nice job, especially as a freshman,” Cassman said.
Shadow Ridge pitcher Tana Feiner threw a four-hitter, and seemed to grow stronger as the game went on. She allowed one earned run, and retired the final eight batters she faced, including her only three strikeouts.
“She really settled in,” Cassman said. “She’s been out for a couple games, but she is coming back strong. She took a little rest, and I think it really helped her.”
Pico struck out 10 and walked one, but hurt herself by hitting three batters, including two with two outs in the third to set up Garganese’s first double. Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587.