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April 1, 2023

Letdown loss against Live Oak

Live Oak scores three runs in final inning to win 4-2
After beating the 11th ranked team in the nation, the San Benito softball team came out flat against Live Oak on Wednesday, losing 4-2.

Live Oak Oak (13-10, 6-5 TCAL) has won two of the three games against the Balers this year.

After defeating Notre Dame on Monday, San Benito had a chance to win the league title by winning their final game five games. Now the Balers will have to have help if they are to overtake the Spirits.

“We tried to talk to the kids and make sure we didn’t have a letdown,” said Baler coach Scott Smith. “We’re just not playing real good defense right now. They hit the ball well, and I have to take the blame on that for not calling a good game. I probably should have thrown a few more changeups and come inside a little more.”

San Benito (20-6, 8-3 TCAL) got on the board with a run in the first inning. Jenny Maheu, who had two hits in the game, led off with a single.

With two outs, Hillary Williams hit a ball that the right fielder misplayed. Williams was thrown out at second, but the run was able to score

Live Oak got its first run in the second inning. On a steal attempt, catcher Amy Baxter threw back to pitcher Dani Hernandez. Hernandez threw the ball to third, but no one was there and the run scored.

“They were showing bunt, and we should have a rotation on where Jenny came over to cover third base,” Smith said. “We practice that play often, it was just a mental mistake and we have to move on.”

In the sixth inning, Maheu hit a little squibler up the middle for her second hit. Julie Broyer sacrificed her over to second. And Maheu scored on a ball hit by Kristen Archuleta that dropped between the first baseman and the right fielder.

In the seventh inning, Live Oak had two hits to open the inning. The first two runs scored as the Balers tried to throw home unsuccessfully. And the final run scored on an infield groundout.

“We knew the first batter was really important,” Smith said. “I felt real strongly that if we could have got the runner out at home, we would have gotten out of the inning.”

San Benito will play May 4 at Gilroy.

“We felt really good going into this game that we would have a shot if we ran the table,” Smith said. “We’ll regroup. It’ll make us more mentally tough in the long run.”

Nathan Mixter
A staff member edited this provided article.

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