Lakewood Wilson

Wilson Softball Ends Lakewood Winning Streak

The stars were aligned for Wilson softball on Tuesday at Lakewood High.

The Bruins had their senior leader in the circle, and at the top of the lineup. They also had the middle of their lineup swinging hot bats, and they had the extra motivation that they hadn’t beaten Lakewood since 2012, the last time they won the league.

All of that added up to one of the biggest upsets in Moore League history. Wilson scored early on Tuesday while senior pitcher Joey Vega held on tightly to the lead with a complete game performance in a 4-3 win. The victory snapped Lakewood’s 65-game league winning streak.

“We don’t pay attention to that stuff, and we just treated it like any other game,” Vega said of the history.

Lakewood has won nine of the last 10 league titles.

“It’s a disappointing day for Lakewood softball,” Lakewood coach Andy Miramontes said. “All good things come to an end, and unfortunately it happened today. (Vega) pitched a gem and really had us off balance.”

Vega went the distance while scattering eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts. She held the heart of the Lakewood lineup to one hit and two walks in 12 at bats.

“She’s a senior, she’s a gamer and she’s been in this situation before,” Wilson coach George Molina said. “She’s earned this. Today was four years coming and finally getting it done.”

Last year in this game, Wilson was tied with Lakewood in the sixth inning before the Lancers ran away with the victory.

“We’ve been really competitive so I knew we had a really good shot to win this game,” Molina said. “I also knew we had to play a great game because they’re a great team.”

Wilson (8-10, 4-0) took the lead in the first inning when Katelyn Howard drove in Michelle Dominguez with a two-out RBI single. The Bruins doubled their lead in the third inning when Dominguez plated Vega after she singled, stole second and moved to third on a fielder’s choice.

Lakewood (6-6, 3-1) cut the lead in half i the third when center fielder Clarissa Salazar scored on an error after one of her three hits at the top of the Lancers lineup.

Cassie Parryman got the start for Lakewood, but Kaiya Yonamine pitched the majority of the game after coming on in the third inning. She gave up three hits, two walks and two runs in 4.2 innings.

Wilson padded its lead in the fifth when Vega and Amanda Castro drew leadoff walks, and scored on singles from Sinclair Lawhorn and Howard to push the lead to 4-1. Lawhorn was the only Bruin to reach base three times, and Howard was the only player with multiple RBIs.

Salazar scored on a passed ball in the fifth inning, and Kendall Lundberg scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 4-3 Wilson. However, Vega stranded four runners in the final three innings to clinch the upset victory.

“I tried to stay simple,” Vega said. “There was a point when my adrenaline really was getting the best of me, but I calmed myself down, adjusted and refocused.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Molina said. “Joey pitched great, and (freshman catcher) Natalya Rodriguez did a great job behind the plate calling the pitches. They got a lot of fly balls, and the outfield did great. It was a real team effort.”

Wilson will host Millikan at Joe Rodgers on Thursday while Lakewood takes on Cabrillo.

VIDEO: Wilson vs. Lakewood, Softball

PHOTOS: Wilson vs. Lakewood, Softball

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.
http://The562.org