Less than 48 hours after winning one of the biggest upsets in Moore League softball history, the Wilson battery of pitcher Joey Vega and catcher Natalya Rodriguez led the Bruins to a 5-2 win over Millikan on Thursday at Joe Rodgers.
Wilson (9-10, 5-0) is in first place after the first round of league play, and the Bruins are trying to win their first league title since 2012.
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“I told the girls there was more to come— that Tuesday’s win wasn’t it,” Wilson coach George Molina said. “We needed to be ready because Millikan is always tough, and I’m very proud of my whole team. A lot of girls contributed today.”
Vega pitched her second complete game of the week while scattering eight hits and striking out five. She didn’t issue a walk, and Rodriguez called the whole game like she has all season. The freshman catcher also hit a three-run triple in the fifth inning to give Wilson the lead for good.
“Joey just did not give up,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been calling my own games since I was 10 years old, and the coaches and Joey trust me. I really appreciate her as a team captain and a pitcher.”
Millikan (9-8, 3-2) took the lead in the second inning when Maya De Sota stole home on a poor throw from Rodriguez. The catcher was visibly upset in the dugout, and Wilson teammate Rebekah Guzman took her aside for encouragement and reassurance.
“I get in my head a lot,” Rodriguez said. “I’m working on it, and my teammates are helping me. This is such a great team, and they give me confidence.”
Millikan took a 2-1 lead in the fifth, but Wilson loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning to set the stage for Rodriguez. Sinclair Lawhorn singled, Katelyn Howard reached on an error and Sydney Freijanes singled before Rodriguez drilled a 1-1 pitch over the head of the left fielder that emptied the bases.
Fellow freshman Ava Trachta drove in the fourth run of the inning with her third hit of the day, and Vega stranded two runners in scoring position in the sixth inning to hold on for the win.
Millikan starter Gretchen Goldsmith gave up nine hits and had two strikeouts. De Sota, Grace Fleming and Lily Romero each had two hits for the Rams from the 5-6-7 spots in the lineup. Millikan scored its second run on a two-out double from Anissa Ramos, and an RBI single from Itzel Soto.