NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Coming off two straight Mission League losses in the past six days, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy softball team didn’t have much spring in its step coming into Tuesday’s league game against Louisville at the Glendale Sports Complex.
The Tologs had more than enough in reserve to keep the Royals, who are winless in league, at bay during a 6-1 victory that locked up second place in league. But with the playoffs on the horizon, Sacred Heart is looking to rediscover its intensity and swagger from earlier in the season.
“I told [the team] we didn’t bring our energy, we weren’t focused,” Tologs Coach Kirk Nishiyama said. “We’ve got to get ready [for playoffs] and today was not a good day for us.
“We played well yesterday [against Alemany], we just had kind of a letdown today. Fortunately, we won, but we can’t just turn it on when we want to.”
Jessica Ferri led the Tologs (17-5, 7-3 in league) in the circle with a two-hit complete game and fell a double short of hitting for the cycle at the plate, going three for four with three runs batted in, including a two-run inside-the-park home run in the second inning.
Meghan Luera and Paige Conti each had RBI groundouts and the Tologs scored four runs over the first two frames after falling behind, 1-0, in the first inning.
But Louisville (8-16, 0-9) was able to able to effectively silence Sacred Heart’s bats from the third through fifth innings and stay in the game despite Ferri’s dominance before a two-run sixth sealed the win.
“It’s just tough coming back from two tough losses,” said Ferri, in reference to the Tologs’ 4-1 loss to Chaminade on Thursday, which was followed by Monday’s 1-0 setback against the Warriors. “We’re just trying to get back to where we were in terms of energy level and quality of play.”
Ferri, who walked a runner that eventually scored on an error in the top of the first, batted leadoff and tripled to right-center field in the bottom of the inning.
She scored on an error on a ball hit by Conti and Conti scored the go-ahead run on a groundout after being moved into scoring position by an infield single by Alanna Pires.
In the bottom of the second inning, No. 9 hitter Haley Mojica singled with two outs to extend the inning for Ferri, who homered for a 4-1 lead.
Ferri lost the no-hitter on a fifth-inning double by Brooke Carpenter that put runners on second and third with no outs, but Ferri put out the fire with a strikeout looking.
MacKenzie Lyng, Lauren Torres and Mojica hit consecutive one-out singles in the bottom of the sixth inning to load the bases for Ferri, who dropped a bloop single in front of the Royals’ deep-playing outfield to score the Tologs’ fifth run.
“I think our biggest key [in the playoffs] is going to be moving runners,” Ferri said. “In playoffs, you’re going to be facing some of the best pitchers in [CIF Southern Section] Division III, so the runners we get on, we have to make sure we’re moving them and putting them in a good position to score.”