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Rancho sees bright side of mistake-filled softball loss

Rancho’s softball team won its opening game in the Spring Jamboree on Thursday at Majestic Park.

The Rams might benefit far more in the long run from their loss in their second game.

After looking sharp in a 10-5 victory over Maranatha (Calif.), the Rams endured a horrendous second inning and fell behind 7-0 to Sylmar (Calif.), rallied to tie and finally suffered a 9-7 defeat.

“You learn more from this one,” Rancho coach Michelle Van Buren said. “It show perseverance when you’re down 7-0 and you have to come back and tie it.”

Sylmar scored seven runs on only four hits in the second inning, taking advantage of a litany of Rancho mistakes.

The Rams walked three batters, threw four wild pitches – one that scored a runner from second – had two passed balls and mistakenly threw home on a ground ball with two outs that extended the inning. Eleven batters and 44 pitches into the innings, it was 7-0.

“In tournaments, you have to make the mistakes to get better,” Van Buren said.

In past years, Rancho might have folded after an inning like that, but the Rams quickly responded. They answered with four runs in the third inning and two more on Amber Marlett’s home run off the top of the scoreboard in the fourth.

“They’ve put in a lot of hard work, and it shows,” Van Buren said. “They didn’t quit.”

Tiffany Smith’s two-out RBI single in the fifth scored Viviana Trujillo with the tying run, and the Rams appeared to be on their way to a remarkable win, but they left a runner at third in the fifth and stranded three in the sixth.

Sylmar took advantage of a Rancho error in the bottom of the sixth to score twice and held on for the win.

The Rams, who have a two-game lead over Las Vegas and Valley in the Northeast League, appear to be a lock to qualify for the Sunrise Region playoffs, and they should benefit from playing in a close game against better competition.

In the opener against Maranatha, Felicia Webb went 2-for-3, and the Rams used a five-run fourth inning to pull away. Jomel Rayos stroked a two-run single during the uprising.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230.

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