Win or lose, Marmonte League coaches seem to be giving the same postgame speech: “It’s only one game.”
Translation? It’s early in the season and odds are good no team is going to go undefeated in league play.
Westlake and Thousand Oaks highs--two of the best teams in the area--certainly won’t.
Thousand Oaks became the fifth team to endure a loss in league play less than two weeks into the season when Westlake came from behind to defeat the Lancers, 4-1, Tuesday at Thousand Oaks Community Park.
“I told the kids after the game, ‘Forget about this one,’ ” Coach Gary Walin of Thousand Oaks said. “It’s only one loss.”
Walin’s words had a familiar ring.
A week ago, Coach Barbara Jordan of Westlake was telling her young squad the same thing after Newbury Park dealt the Warriors a 6-0 setback in a league opener.
“I told them to worst thing they could do after the Newbury Park game is panic,” Jordan said.
Westlake (7-1, 1-1 in league play), ranked No. 3 in the region by The Times, fell behind early against Thousand Oaks (7-3, 1-1), ranked No. 5.
Vanessa Hanson reached base on an error in the first inning and scored on a single by Lacey Cope.
But the Warriors, who pounded nine hits against two formidable Lancer pitchers, didn’t pack it in.
“These are my little warriors,” Jordan said.
“They didn’t crumble. After one time through the lineup, they said, ‘OK, we’re going to [hit] her.’ ”
The second time through the lineup, Westlake parlayed four singles and a walk into four runs in the fifth inning to take command.
Kaitlyn Wilson’s lead-off single got it started. The Warriors tied the score, 1-1, when Wilson scored on Annie Domenic’s high chopper over the head of pitcher Sheridan Fowler.
Later, with bases loaded and two out, Katie Reifman hit a bloop single to left to score Domenic. Angela Funk followed with a two-run single to left to make it 4-1.
Funk’s hit chased Fowler (3-2), who allowed six hits and two walks. Funk and Katie Kearns each had two hits for the Warriors.
Erin Voeltz (7-1) of Westlake, who allowed only three hits in the first five innings, kept the Lancers guessing throughout.
Five of Voeltz’s 13 strikeouts were on called third strikes.
Although the junior right-hander surrendered four hits in the final two innings, she recorded six of the last nine outs by strikeout.
Hanson and Kim Martin each had two hits for Thousand Oaks.
Voeltz, who allowed seven hits and walked one, said she doesn’t want to get too excited about beating Thousand Oaks because she knows there are more tough league opponents waiting in the wings.
“We take our games one at a time,” Voeltz said. “Every game’s a big deal.”