Roseville drops SFL champs

Walked batter comes back to haunt Del Oro
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS ? An early walk came back to haunt Del Oro High as Roseville knocked off the Eagles 1-0 and become the only team to beat them twice this season on their home field. ?I have to always reiterate, like I said to my kids, that team over there only matters this much (a little) to me, this team right here matters this much (a lot) to me and on this day with our seniors, we matter,? said Del Oro co-coach Sean Erickson of the loss on senior day. ?I feel horrible for our seniors to have to endure a day like this but we?ll come back tomorrow and we?ll work it out.? The Eagles (12-2 SFL, 17-4-2) had already locked up the Sierra Foothill League championship prior to the game but didn?t want to lose on such a special day, especially to a team that had beaten them 12-3 on their home field earlier this season. The Tigers (10-5 SFL, 17-7-1) were on the brink of elimination from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs, which begin May 15, Wednesday until they beat Granite Bay 2-1 to secure the league?s third seed. Del Oro will be the No. 1-overall seed. ?It was a game where we went in to it to try to the take pressure off for once and just prepare yourselves for playoffs,? said Roseville coach Jennifer Birch, a Del Oro grad. ?I think playing relaxed, they played better.? Roseville put the decisive run up early when pitcher Jordan Courage struggled with her command in the first inning. The normally dominant ace missed low and away four times to leadoff hitter Kalei Levy and walked the senior catcher on five pitches. MacKensie Priley sacrifice bunted Levy to second and two batters later Naomi Monahan grounded back up the middle between Courage?s legs to score the only run of the game. Courage regained her form the rest of the way as she pitched the complete game. She gave up four hits and struck out five. The Eagles couldn?t find the holes in the Tigers? defense. Senior shortstop Whitney Smith hit two screamers into the middle of the defense but both were caught. The only time Smith, who leads the team in almost every hitting category, reached base was on an error by second baseman Danielle Crockett that sparked a glimmer of hope into the Eagles. The error loaded the bases with one out but Hannah Miller popped out to short and Courtney Smith struck out looking on an outside pitch with a full count to end the threat. Roseville pitcher Kayla Fields went the distance and gave up four hits and struck out three. ?Kayla pitched a good game,? Courage said. ?She kept us on our toes and yes, we had a couple good hits, of course to someone. And then the fact that we couldn?t quite get that run in when we had bases loaded hurts us. We had the opportunities, we just didn?t take them whereas Roseville did.?