By Rick Assad
It’s awfully tough when base runners and hits are hard to come by and they were that for the Providence High softball team.
The Pioneers managed just five runners on the base paths and three hits during the seven innings.
Given this information, Providence was in deep water throughout much of the time they faced Chaminade in a nonleague contest on Wednesday at Olive Park.
Bolstered by a four-run third inning, the Eagles swept aside the Pioneers 5-0 as they faced three highly effective pitchers.
Providence’s hits came off the bats of junior Olyvia Rutter who singled to right field in the second inning, junior Breanna Pelaez who singled to center field in the third frame and junior Malia Rode who tripled down the right field line in the seventh.
Rutter led off the second with a hit, took second base on a wild pitch and advanced to third base on a grounder by sophomore Mia Allinson. The threat ended when junior Grace Workman fanned looking.
“We played a very good team today. Chaminade had good pitching and defense,” said Workman, a first baseman/pitcher. “We are going to continue working hard and come back strong tomorrow.”
Pelaez’s one-out hit in the third saw her swipe second on a stolen base, but that was as far as she would advance.
Sophomore Delailah Lopez then flied to center field and junior Belen Benito popped to the third baseman.
Rode’s sharply hit ball scooted to the outfield in the seventh frame.
Allinson however fanned looking for the second out and junior Isabella Barton bounced to third base that ended the game.
“You can’t win games if you don’t hit. They had good pitching, and you can’t commit as many errors as we committed,” Providence coach Manny Travieso said of the predicament the Pioneers were in. “That recipe is a disaster.”
Taking everything into consideration, Travieso is still confident the Pioneers (9-5) will respond favorably.
“Our team is very good and we will bounce back,” he said. “Our pitchers only gave up one earned run, so it could have been 1-0.”
Rutter allowed eight hits in seven innings and struck out five with no walks allowed.
The match was going to be an uphill battle for the Pioneers after the Eagles (9-6) trotted seven hitters to plate in the third with three getting base hits.
Mia Elizondo opened the frame by slapping a single up the middle and Aleks Albert (three singles) had a run-scoring single to right field.
Alyssa Jemio also chipped in with a run-tallying single to left field and Sidney Hogue added a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
The Eagles scored a solo run in the first inning when Hogue rifled a double to left field that plated Albert, who reached on an error.
“Chaminade played very well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our bats going today,” Providence assistant coach Patti Workman said. “Looking back, we only had three hits. We also had too many errors defensively. We are looking to regroup tomorrow against a Prep League opponent [Polytechnic].”
Katherine Osborne was the first Chaminade hurler to be in the circle as she went three innings while allowing two hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Jemio entered the third inning and went two frames while fanning two and walking one for the Eagles.
Chaminade’s Katie Thomson went two innings and struck out two and allowed one hit.