The Reed softball team will have the chance to defend its annual Easter weekend tournament title.
The Raiders (6-0) won all three of their pool play games on Friday morning at Shadow Mountain Park to advance to the No. 1 bracket on Saturday. Reed won Pool A and will be in the No. 1 bracket with the winners of the three other four-team pools.
Reed snuck past James Logan (Union City, Calif.) in their opener, 5-0, before dismantling Wooster, 17-0, and Livingston (Livingston, Calif.), 18-2.
With the lopsided scores in the final two games, Reed coach Jon Wunder was able to give his bullpen some work.
“We got to pitch all three pitchers today (Julia Jensen, Aliya Lange and Kathy Delgado),” Wunder said. “That’s good because you never know when you might have to call on them. We’d like to keep Julia’s innings down a little bit in comparison to last year.”
Jensen, the reigning DI North MVP, pitched 211 of Reed’s 236 defensive innings a season ago. On Friday, Jensen pitched six of the Raiders’ 12 defensive innings.
None of Reed’s games went a full seven innings due to time restrictions set for the tournament. No new inning was permitted to start after 75 minutes of play.
Temporary outfield fences were added this year. In year’s past, would-be home runs rolled upwards of 280 feet from home plate on the large fields before outfielders could chase them down.
“The city has had them (fences) for a while and the dad’s said ‘hey, we’ll put them up if you can get the fences,’” Wunder said. “It keeps kids honest as far as they’re not playing clear over there on Barring Boulevard.”
The Raiders will play their No. 1 bracket semifinal Saturday at 1 p.m. at Shadow Mountain.
“Where we need to improve right now continues to be our defense,” Wunder said. “I think it’s that way every year at the beginning of the year … I’m happy with our pitching. I’m happy with our bats. I just want to see our defense continue to improve.”
Reed 18, Livingston 2 (three innings)
The Raiders benefited from the new fences in their final game of pool play on Friday, blasting five home runs.
Mckenzie Howren (3-for-3, 2 doubles, HR, 3 RBI), Bianca Beterano (2-for-2, HR, 3 RBI), Maci Abrott (1-for-3, HR), Allie Hughes (1-for-1, HR) and Kathy Delgado (1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI) all went yard.
Delgado relieved Jensen in the circle after the first inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits over the final two innings. She struck out three and walked just one.
Reed scored seven of its runs in the first before plating 10 in the second.
Reed 17, Wooster 0 (four innings)
The Colts kept the Raiders in the yard but weren’t able to keep them off the bases. Reed outhit Wooster 12-2 in Friday’s second pool play game.
Ali Hernandez led the way at the dish, going 3-for-3 with a double, 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Ryia Grant also drove in three, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Lange threw in a four-inning complete game shutout to pick up the win. She allowed just two hits and issued a pair of walks while striking out eight.
Reed 5, James Logan 0 (five innings)
Reed got its toughest game of the day out of the way first.
The Raiders and Colts, located outside San Francisco, were in a scoreless tie before the defending DI state champs scored five times in the top of the fifth.
“I had to remind them this isn’t a seven-inning game. These are timed games and if at some point you want to play for a championship tomorrow, we need to score some runs,” Wunder said. “It seemed like right after that we put up a five in that inning … That was a quality win for us.”
Reed’s 7-8-9 hitters led the fifth inning off with three-straight singles before leadoff hitter Jessica Sellers drove in the first runs of the game with an RBI single. Kenzi Goins followed with a two-run single of her own—the Raiders’ fifth-straight base hit.
Two batters later, Sellers scored on a groundout to make the score 4-0 and the next batter, Alysha Imperato, bounced one over the fence for a ground rule double, plating Goins, the final run of the game.
Jensen sat down the side in order in the bottom of the fifth to end the time-restricted contest.
Reed’s ace allowed just one hit over the five innings of shutout softball while striking out 10. She did not walk a single batter.