MONROVIA — Olivia Lam understands the pressure of handling two-out at-bats with runners in scoring position. It’s something she’s been successful at during her career.
The La Cañada High softball player proved she could handle the situation during a crucial plate appearance Wednesday.
Lam delivered a bases-loaded double with two outs in the fourth inning to help visiting La Cañada pick up an 8-3 victory against Monrovia in a key Rio Hondo League contest.
La Cañada improved to 10-5, 3-0 in league. Monrovia dropped to 11-4, 3-1.
“I knew we needed a base hit and to get some people to score,” said Lam, a senior catcher. “There’s a bigger sense of urgency.”
Lam’s heroics came after the Wildcats trimmed the Spartans’ lead to 4-2 in the third.
La Cañada Coach KC Mathews said Lam’s hit proved to be the turning point.
“That’s an experienced player,” Mathews said. “That’s a big-time spot and you expect her to have a good at-bat.”
The Spartans, who failed to qualify for the playoffs last season after winning back-to-back CIF Southern Section Division V championships, scored four runs in the first. All of the runs came with two outs.
The Spartans completed their first-inning scoring surge on a two-run single by Kara Thompson.
Monrovia cut the deficit to 4-1 in the second, capped by a run-scoring single by Brooke Mann.
The Spartans regained their focus in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs before Lam cleared the bases with her triple to right-center field.
Monrovia closed out the scoring with a run in the fifth.
“Nobody is going to run away in this league,” said Mathews, whose team finished with 13 hits. “That’s not the last you have heard of Monrovia.
“Monrovia will come back. They have lots of talent.”
The Spartans got two hits apiece from Brenna Gay, Sammy Jedrey and Julia Harbolt.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .