Joette Vega got her pitching hand closed in a door on Monday, but that didn’t stop the Wilson senior from delivering a complete game one-hit shutout in a 12-0 win over Long Beach Poly on Tuesday at Joe Rodgers.
“I gripped the ball like normal,” Vega said. “It just hurt like hell.”
While Vega struck out five, walked one and hit a batter, the Bruins racked up 17 hits and scored five runs in the third inning. Six different Wilson players drove in runs, and all but one spot in the lineup scored. Poly’s only hit came on a double from Deja Williams with two outs in the third.
“I’m pleased with the way this team hit the ball and took the extra base today,” Wilson coach George Molina said. “I didn’t even know about (Vega’s hand injury) but she’s a gamer, she wanted to be out there, and she has been that way since she was a freshman.”
Vega, who was still gingerly dealing with a bruised and bleeding nail on her right ring finger after the game, is a four-year starter. She has pitched all but five innings for Wilson this season. Vega said her varsity experience has better prepared her to lead this team.
“I’ve gotten to know these girls and what it takes to create a happy environment so we can play well together,” Vega said. “We’re always communicating, and that’s important.”
Wilson senior Katelyn Howard had three hits, five RBIs and two runs scored.
“I think this year we’re stronger and more confident going into game against Lakewood and Millikan,” Howard said. “This team never gives up, and we want to play like you can’t tell what the score is.”
Wilson sophomore Sinclair Lawhorn reached base five times with a pair of singles and three walks. Freshmen Sydney Freijanes and Natalya Rodriguez each had a pair of RBIs, and the catcher Rodriguez called the entire game for Vega. She has done so all season, and it’s another example of how much Molina is willing to trust his young starters.
“We’re young but we’re learning,” Molina said.
Wilson (6-6, 2-0) hosts Jordan on Thursday while Poly (2-4, 1-2) enjoys the league bye.
MILLIKAN 19, COMPTON 1
Junior Maya De Sota went 4-for-4 with a grand slam in the win while freshman pitcher Grace Fleming picked up the victory in the circle. The Rams (9-6, 2-1) visit Cabrillo on Thursday.