The number of Los Altos High hits and Mountain View High errors may be in dispute, but there’s no debating which softball team was better Thursday. The host Eagles routed the Spartans 8-1 in a non-league game rescheduled from March.
The home team’s scorebook showed 11 hits for Los Altos – which coach Tom Barrera agreed with – and three errors by Mountain View. The Spartans’ book has them making six errors and surrendering only seven hits to the Eagles, totals Mountain View coach Dave Campbell stood by.
The coaches did agree on at least one thing – Los Altos pitcher Lizzie Beutter was the game’s standout player. The sophomore went the distance, surrendering three hits and no earned runs. She struck out six batters, including the final two she faced in the top of the seventh.
“Beutter threw a great game,” Campbell said, “and she swings a mighty bat.”
Beutter followed back-to-back doubles with her first home run – a three-run shot to center in the fifth that put Los Altos up seven.
“When she hit her home run, she had no idea that it went over the fence until, I believe, the first base coach told her,” said Barrera, who added that Beutter’s hitting performance Thursday was her best yet. “The smile on her face as she rounded first base was one of those special, memorable moments.”
Beutter reached base all four times she came to the plate, though the coaches didn’t agree on how her first at-bat should be scored. Barrera called the ground ball up the middle a hit; Campbell ruled it an error.
Either way, the first-inning play led to the game’s initial run. The bases were loaded with one out when Beutter stepped to the plate, and her grounder to pitcher Reanna Lancaster scored Kaitlyn Schiffhauer from third base. Lancaster got the next batter to pop up, but then the Mountain View infield misplayed a grounder by Krissy Ikeda that allowed Angelica Minor to score from third.
“The funny thing is that our defense is our pride, (but) it seems during the game we tripped on it,” Campbell said. “The errors came from our most dependable defenders.”
The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the third. Beutter led off with a double and moved to third on Ikeda’s one-out single down the third-base line. Audrey Jones walked to load the bases, prompting Campbell to replace Lancaster with freshman Tiana Bolin. Minor welcomed her to the mound by hitting a chopper that Mountain View mishandled in the infield, allowing Beutter to score.
That proved to be the lone run Bolin surrendered in the third, finishing it with a strikeout.
The Spartans responded with a run in the fourth, courtesy of a Los Altos error. Lancaster, who walked with one out, scored from first on Bolin’s ground ball after the Eagles’ errant throw to second rolled deep into the outfield.
Los Altos got that run back – and more – in the fifth. Minor ripped a line drive through the middle for a single with one out, moved to second on a passed ball and to third on Schiffhauer’s grounder. She scored moments later when Mountain View dropped Ikeda’s pop up.
Kaya Agustin followed with a walk and Marialena Ahern doubled down the first-base line to score Minor, making it 5-1. Next, Beutter belted her three-run homer to put the game out of reach.
The contention between the coaches was greater than any discord their players expressed toward one another on the field in the match up of district rivals.
“I wish there were a rivalry, but the girls have known each other for years, and they end up approaching it like a scrimmage against friends,” Campbell said of his team.
The Eagles “do get a little more excited when playing against Mountain View,” Barrera said, adding that he tries to “convince them playing against Mountain View is no different than any other opponent.”
A rematch is scheduled 4 p.m. Monday at Mountain View, a makeup of a tournament game.
“I’m hopeful that in the second game, on the 28th, we’ll have a better display of Spartan softball,” Campbell said.
Mountain View (10-5 overall) rebounded Saturday by winning two out of three at the Watsonville Tournament. The Spartans defeated Monterey 5-2 and Seaside 1-0 before falling 5-0 to Carmel.
Mountain View opened last week by outlasting Palo Alto 5-4 in 11 innings, improving to 4-1 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division.
Los Altos also won a league game in dramatic fashion early last week. The Eagles rallied late to edge Saratoga 6-5. Los Altos (12-7 overall) went to 5-1 in the SCVAL De Anza Division.
2014 softball: Los Altos High School vs. Mountain View High School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier