It can seem the biggest word in the English language--the “if” word.
In Madison’s 8-0 softball victory over Orange Glen Tuesday afternoon, it could have gone something like this: If the fourth inning hadn’t happened, Orange Glen would have taken a less painful 1-0 nonleague loss along on the long ride back to Escondido.
“One bad inning, that’s all we had,” Orange Glen Coach Lynne Kelley told her players after the shutout.
The Patriots (3-5) were looking at a scoreless game, and Orange Glen freshman Lara Campbell had pitched three innings and given up just one hit, when Madison’s Natalie Hurlburt hit an infield single to start a seven-run, seven-hit fourth inning. Kim Lester followed with a single to center, with both runners advancing on the center fielder’s throw. Jenifer Booker drove in Hurlburt and Lester with a double to left, giving the Warhawks a 2-0 lead.
Madison continued when Michelle Sergott reached first on an error, scoring Booker from second. Patti Howell singled to right, moving Sergott to second, and Lini Koria took first on a fielder’s choice.
Michelle Vanegas hit an infield single to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Dawn Sanphy walked to score Sergott and make it 4-0.
The Warhawks had the momentum going their way; Orange Glen was getting anxious and frustrated.
“I think that’s normal and human,” Kelly said.
With just two seniors returning--center fielder Annie Page and catcher Jennifer Tubbs--and a young infield, Kelly said it will take time for the inexperienceto wear off.
“They have lots of growing to do,” Kelly said. “They get in a game like this, and it’s the first time they’ve seen many of the things that happened today. They aren’t seasoned yet.”
Campbell struck out Suzanne Galletta for the second out of the fourth, but Hurlburt then doubled, scoring Koria and Vanegas and moving Sanphy to third. Lester singled to score Sanphy for the final run of the inning as Hurlburt was called out at the plate for running into Tubbs.
Madison’s Hurlburt, Booker and Jennifer Hamme all pitched, with Booker (4-1) picking up the victory.
“We’re only playing once this week,” Madison Coach Steve Miner said, “and I wanted to give them all some work.”
Sergott scored Madison’s final run in the fifth on an Orange Glen error.
Madison went 28-2 last year and was runner-up to Fallbrook in the San Diego Section 3-A final. They are 9-2, with a one-run loss to Monte Vista and a 3-1 loss to Thousand Oaks.
Kelly said she’d be surprised not to see the Warhawks in the section final again.
“It’s hard to find a weakness on them,” she said. “If I was a bettor, I’d put my money on them.”
In other nonleague softball games:
San Diego 4, Montgomery 0--Elena Castro (4-0) pitched a one-hitter for San Diego (4-0). Stacey Baird was three for three with two singles, a triple and an RBI, and Delia Burke hit a double for the Cavers. Montgomery is 2-2.
Mission Bay 12, Hoover 0--Tiffany Wasilewski (1-2) pitched a one-hitter. Bridget Cota hit two-run home run in the second for Mission Bay (2-3) and was two for three with three RBIs.
Torrey Pines 7, Carlsbad 0--John Lynch allowed only two batters to reach base--one on a hit, another on a walk--while striking out eight for the Falcons.
Lynch (1-2) threw only 84 pitches in the seven-inning game. He also scored two runs despite getting no hits.
Leadoff hitter Jason Wright was two for four with an RBI and a stolen base, and Preston Bynes was two for three with an RBI, a double (the only extra-base hit of the game) and a stolen base.
University of San Diego High 10, St. Augustine 5--The teams combined to use 11 pitchers in the seven-inning game. Jeff DesJardins went three for four with a home run and three RBIs for USDHS (8-2).
Fallbrook 9, El Camino 6--The Warriors improved to 8-2 while hitting a section-record-tying four triples.
Wade Pearson, Mike Gainsborough, Dan Siegler and Aaron Hopkins combined to tie the record set by Bonita Vista vs. Marian and tied by San Pasqual vs. Francis Parker in 1980.
El Camino’s Ricky Spears hit the game’s only home run.
Orange Glen 3, Chula Vista 2--David Silva scored Matt Taylor from first with a single in the bottom of the seventh. Jim Roby picked up the victory in relief for Orange Glen (5-6).