Gracie Verdugo’s Bases-Loaded Single Gives San Marcos 4-3 Walk-Off Win Over Lompoc
By Barry Punzal, Noozhawk Sports Editor | @NoozhawkSports April 25, 2022
Gracie Verdugo hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh to lift San Marcos to a 4-3 softball win over Lompoc and move into sole possession of second place in the Channel League.
Verdugo drove in Caitlyn Early for the walk-off comeback win.
The Royals were down 3-1 entering their half of the seventh. Senior Cassandra Perez singled with one out. Following a strikeout, Gigi Gritt singled and courtesy runner Cindy Villa came in to run for the catcher. Early, was intentionally walked to load the bases. Kamilah Morales hit her second single of the day, scoring Perez and keeping the bases loaded.
Kayla Aguilar hit a ground ball to shortstop in the hole, but the throw to third trying to force Early was late and Villa scored to tie the score. With the bases still loaded, Verdugo came up and got two quick strikes. She fouled off two more pitches and, with an 0-2 count, singled past the shortstop scoring Early for the winning run.
Lompoc’s first three batters reached base in the first inning and all would end up scoring for a quick 3-0 lead.
Early scored in the fourth inning on bases loaded single by Verdugo. With the bases still loaded, the Royals hit into a fielder’s choice, preventing a run from scoring. The next hitters struck out and flew out.
Kate Guerra replaced Gritt on the mound in the second inning and allowed just one infield hit and a walk. Only two batters reached base after the second inning on walks.
“Kate is gaining confidence and consistency with every outing,” said coach Jeff Swann. “If she can limit mistake pitches, which are becoming fewer and fewer, she has the ability to take us far in the playoffs.”
San Marcos improved to 11-3 in league (14-13 overall) and hold a half-game lead over Lompoc. The teams play at Lompoc on Wednesday.
“This was a great win for the girls. They had determination and focus at the plate all day, and especially in the last inning, and were in it to win it for their seniors. It was fitting for Cassandra to set the tone with her one-out single to get them going,” said Swann.