Pitcher Lizzy Beutter wasn’t completely satisfied with her performance in last week’s opening round of the Central Coast Section Division I softball playoffs, yet it was good enough to lead Los Altos High to a 7-2 win over Lincoln.
“I did not pitch up to my expectations, but – as always – my defense was there for me,” said the sophomore, who surrendered one earned run and two hits in a complete-game effort. “We scored early, which allowed me to do the best I could and leave the rest up to them.”
The fourth-seeded Eagles (20-7) jumped to a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning on back-to-back RBI doubles from Jasmine Pedroza and Marialena Ahern. Los Altos added a run in the third – on an Ahern single to center that scored Janelle McAfee – to negate Lincoln’s run in the top of the frame.
The Eagles put up a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
Los Altos manufactured its fourth-inning runs on just one hit – a leadoff single by Krissy Ikeda, who finished the day 3-for-4. Lions’ starter Victoria Guzman walked two of the next three batters to load the bases and Pedroza’s fly out to deep right scored Ikeda. Guzman then sailed a high pitch past her catcher, allowing Haley Costa to slide safely into home plate.
Guzman wasn’t able to survive the fifth, pulled after giving up runs on consecutive singles by Angelica Minor and Kaitlyn Schiffhauer, who ripped the ball down the first-base line to score Ikeda.
Although the 13th-seeded Lions (22-5) made Beutter work – drawing four walks and extending several at-bats by fouling off pitches – she kept them in check. Beutter struck out batters to close the top of the first, second and fourth innings and induced three consecutive groundouts in the fifth.
Beutter, recently voted Pitcher of the Year for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division, struck out five batters in the May 21 home game.
She was expected to take the mound in Saturday’s quarterfinal game against No. 5 Wilcox (21-7), played after the Town Crier’s press deadline.
“Although I obviously want to win, I think of CCS as the icing on the cake – a great add to an already amazing season,” said Beutter, whose team won its first De Anza Division title since the 1990s. “With that said, I know we will go far in CCS if we keep supporting each other and staying aggressive – ready to take advantage of the other teams’ weaknesses.”
2014 softball: Los Altos High School vs. Lincoln High School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier