Alex Perez Throws a 4-Hitter, Striking Out 9 & Hits 2 Doubles.
By Warren Eastman
Aquinas got on the board first in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Bobbiann Pratt hit a line drive to deep left centerfield. She was held to a long single by an excellent defensive play by center fielder Jenna Perez. Brissa Alvarado followed with a line drive double to left center field to score Pratt from first.
Linfield responded in the bottom of the first. JaeCe Simon led off with a line single to left field and moved to second when Nayana Jenkins was hit by pitch. One out later, Alex Perez hit a line double to deep left field, scoring Simon with Jenkins to third. Two strikeouts by Aquinas pitcher Reina Castillo ended any further threat.
In the third inning, Aquinas scored two unearned runs. With one out, Maya Gonzalez singled through the left side. Pratt then hit a fly ball single to short right field. A misplay on the ball allowed Gonzalez to score, and Pratt ended up at third. Alvarado then reached first on an infield throwing error, allowing Pratt to score. After a walk, a strikeout and an infield ground out ended the inning.
Linfield came right back in the bottom of the third to again tie the score. After one out, Alex Perez hit her second double, a hard ground ball into the right center field gap. Two outs later, Payton Howie’s ground ball single through the left side scored Perez, with Howie taking second on the throw to home plate. Kiki McGrath followed with a line single to left center to score Howie.
After the third inning, Alex Perez shut down the powerful Aquinas attack, allowing only two base runners on a walk and a hit batter. The final out of the game came on an outstanding play by Linfield second baseman Simon. With a runner on first, Pratt hit a ball that was deflected by the pitcher, fielded by Simon, who made a lunging tag on the runner from first for the fielder’s choice out.
With the win, Linfield moves into a tie for second place in the Ambassador League with Aquinas, one game behind Ontario Christian.
Linfield and Aquinas play again on Thursday, and Linfield finishes the season at Ontario Christian next week. Linfield’s record is now 15-5 on the season, 8-2 in league play.
Ambassador Leaue Standings
Ontario Christian 9-1
Linfield Christian 8-2
Woodcrest Christian 7-3
Notre Dame 4-6
Western Christian 1-8
Loma Linda Academy 1-8
Arrowhead Christian 1-9
Photos by Stephanie LaFleur