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Shadow Ridge softball stays composed to defeat Palo Verde — PHOTOS

Shadow Ridge softball pitcher Josslin Law lost an epic battle with Palo Verde cleanup hitter Mya Bartlett on Monday.

Bartlett fouled off six two-strike pitches to earn a walk. That brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the sixth inning.

No matter.

Law retired the next three batters, two on strikeouts, to help the top-ranked Mustangs hold on for a 3-1 road win over second-ranked Palo Verde.

“One thing about Joss, she keeps her composure,” Shadow Ridge coach Julia Meyn said. “She could be off for a batter or two and she will come back with the same pitches she had previously. She’s got great composure and she’s just fun to call pitches for.”

Palo Verde (10-3, 0-1 5A Mountain League) had runners in scoring position in each of the final three innings. Law never let the pressure get to her. Even after Bartlett’s 12-pitch walk put runners at first and second with no outs in the sixth.

“It was a good at-bat,” Law said. “I play with her. I know her. I know she’s a strong batter. So I was just trying to focus on trusting my defense and trusting my pitches. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted to, but it turned out fine.”

After Bartlett’s walk, Bradi Odom popped up a bunt attempt for the first out. Law then struck out Paige Brandes and Zoe Helein to get out of the jam.

The Panthers threatened the previous inning as well. Madi Malloy and Taylor Johns drew back-to-back walks with two outs. A double steal put runners at second and third, but Law fanned Kayleen Enriquez on a riseball to end the inning.

Law allowed five hits and three walks. She struck out nine. She got some defensive help in the fourth inning when center fielder Stevie Robison streaked across the outfield to make a diving catch in left-center field to rob Odom of extra bases.

“That was great,” Law said. “I was scared, because I was like, ‘That’s not her ball.’ But I trust her. She’s got speed and she’s able to make plays like that.”

The Mustangs (9-3, 2-0) took advantage of a sloppy start by Palo Verde to score three runs in the top of the first. Panthers’ pitcher Odom walked two of the first three batters of the game. A passed ball then put runners at second and third with one out. Cleanup hitter Jacobi Gledhill bunted toward third base. Enriquez charged hard and the runners froze. Enriquez flipped the ball to the catcher expecting a play at the plate, but the toss clanked off Malloy’s mitt. Jimena Barraza beat the return throw to the plate for the game’s first run.

Another run came home on a wild pitch and Abby Covington added an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.

“That’s definitely a very relaxing part about being visitors is when we come out and we hit and get those insurance runs so I can feel a little bit more confident with myself on the mound,” Law said.

Palo Verde’s run came on an RBI double by Johns in the third.

Barraza was 2-for-4 with a double and a run. Gledhill and Alina Pavlovich added doubles for Shadow Ridge.

Alexis Kearns went 2-for-3 and scored Palo Verde’s only run.

“It’s a great win for us,” Meyn said. “We’ve been working hard. We know who brings it. We know what teams are going to battle with us.”

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