The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
Despite trailing by five runs in the fifth inning of the Moore League softball opener on Tuesday, there was never a doubt in the Lakewood dugout.
“We have great chemistry and I knew we had each other’s backs,” Lakewood junior Laci Berecochea said. “I knew we could hit no matter who came up. It’s a lot easier going up to bat knowing that (your teammates) believe in you.”
A bases loaded triple from Madeleine Mendoza got the Lancers back in the game, a two-out, two-RBI triple from Isabelle Casanova tied the game in the seventh inning, and Berecochea drove in the winning runs with a triple of her own in the eighth inning to win 11-9 against Wilson at Joe Rodgers Stadium.
“That’s a great team win,” Lakewood coach Andy Miramontes said. “All of the girls didn’t give up. You didn’t see any fear in their eyes all the way through. They came together as a team and came back.”
Wilson took the 8-3 lead thanks to a six-run third inning, but Lakewood racked up 10 hits in the last five innings to steal the victory.
“That’s a really tough game,” Wilson coach George Molina said. “You’ve got to find a way to get them out. It was little things. We had some moments to get more runs.”
Lakewood second baseman Julia Miramontes reached base four times in five plate appearances. Berecochea drove in three runs and scored once with two two hits. All but one spot in the Lancers lineup reached base.
Wilson catcher JJ Babore reached base four times in five plate appearances with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman shortstop Tallulah Watts had two hits and two RBIs on a third-inning triple.
Berecochea got the start in the circle for Lakewood, and helped her team take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning with an RBI single on the first pitch she saw.
Wilson scored a run in each of the first two innings before the big third inning. Bruins starting pitcher Emily Castano looked great in the middle innings after her team gave her a lead. The sophomore retired six straight batters with fly balls before the Lancers got their offensive going in the fifth.
Miramontes credited a mid-game shift in strategy to take the first pitch from Castano to get deeper into counts.
“We’re going to have to find a way to prevent the runs,” Molina said. “Emily pitched her heart out and it’s not on her.”
There were two outs in the seventh inning when Casanova tied the game with her triple over the center fielder’s head.
“It was nerve-wracking for sure but I had to come through for my team one way or another,” she said.
There were a total of 26 hits in the game and 14 different players came around to score runs.
Lakewood hosts Cabrillo on Monday while Wilson travels to Millikan.