Young Eagles not yet ready to soar

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High freshman Cassie Chou pitches against Wilcox Thursday. The Eagles lost the home game 12-4.

The Los Altos High softball team’s inexperience showed in Thursday’s 12-4 home loss to Wilcox. The Eagles, with only four seniors on the roster, made too many mistakes to compete with the Chargers.

“This year is going to be a little challenging for us,” said coach Tom Barrera, whose team slumped to 0-3 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division and 3-9 overall. “We have a lot of inexperienced players, and that’s what we’re dealing with – teaching them how to play.”

The top of the sixth inning summarized Los Altos’ season so far. The Eagles allowed five runs, thanks in part to three errors, to trail 12-1. Two of the runs came after Los Altos dropped a pop-up in the outfield with two away. Another error followed – a throw to first base went through the fielder’s legs – resulting in two more runs for Wilcox (1-1 league, 6-4 overall).

“It happens,” said Eagles pitcher Cassie Chou, a freshman. “It’s fine. We can bounce back.”

Los Altos didn’t get on the scoreboard until the fifth frame. With the bases loaded, Chou scored on an RBI single from Katelyn Albrecht, making the score 7-1. The Eagles’ next batter grounded out, ending the threat.

The Eagles had their best offensive inning after their worst defensive inning of the game, scoring three runs in the sixth.

Elle Lowe scored off an RBI double from Nicole Baxley and Janelle Fumar made it home on a grounder by Chou that Wilcox’s shortstop mishandled. Later in the inning, Liliana Ahern hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Baxley.

Lowe finished the day 3-for-4.

Although Los Altos has lost three straight games – allowing double-digit runs in each – Barrera said his team is making strides. He noted that the Eagles’ decision-making has improved, as well as their aggressiveness when it comes to fielding the ball.

“But what I had told them just now is I think they’re finally turning the corner,” Barrera said. “I think we’re going to see some improvements next week. The score today, there were a couple of mishaps – it really didn’t reflect the improvement that I’ve been looking for.”

Los Altos is scheduled to participate in the Wilcox Tournament Saturday at Mission College.

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