The Mountain View High softball team showcased its power in the second inning of Thursday’s game, belting back-to-back home runs on the way to a 10-5 win over Wilcox.
Rani Lauwers homered first, then Ilona Sullivan put the host Spartans up 2-0.
“I think the fans really loved those back-to-back home runs,” said Hector Perez, in his first season as Mountain View’s coach.
For Sullivan, it was her second homer in as many games.
“I haven’t been hitting, so it felt nice,” the sophomore said.
There would be plenty more hits for the Spartans, who improved to 6-1 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division – tied for first place with Los Gatos – and 9-10 overall. They added three runs in the third after Alyssa Guerrero replaced Kelly Adame as the Chargers’ pitcher.
With Tiana Bolin on second base, Emma Bice hit an RBI double to bring Bolin home. Rachel Klemm followed with an RBI double that went past the third baseman as well. That brought in Bice. Later in the inning, Bryce Boyle belted an RBI double to score Klemm and make it 5-0.
Mountain View surrendered two runs in the fourth to make the score 5-2, but the Spartans got two back in the bottom of the inning when Klemm singled to drive home Bolin and Bice followed on a throwing error.
Mountain View pitcher Madysen Garcia got into some trouble in the bottom of the frame with three straight walks that enabled the Chargers (1-6 league, 7-12 overall) to load the bases.
That’s when Perez turned to Sullivan.
“We have three pitchers,” the coach said. “When a varsity softball team has three pitchers, there’s no panic. If one pitcher can’t do it, the other one can. If two can’t, then the third one can.”
Sullivan had trouble with location as well. After getting out the first batter, she walked three out of the next four she faced. Suddenly, the Spartans’ lead was down to 7-5.
“That fifth inning was disastrous,” Perez said. “Too many walks. Our old coaches always said, ‘Base on ball is a run.’”
Sullivan got the next batter to fly out, ending the threat.
“It was a difficult situation especially coming in as a pitcher having the bases loaded, no outs,” Sullivan said. “It was great getting out of it. It was just stressful and kind of difficult in the moment, but it’s good to get out of it.”
Mountain View extended its lead in the bottom of the sixth when Bice hit her second RBI double of the game to bring home Jenna Bryant. Klemm then singled, bringing home Bice and Bolin. Klemm, a junior, finished with four RBIs.
The Spartans’ lead was up to 10-5 and the score would stay that way. Sullivan retired the three batters in the seventh to earn her second save of the season.
Mountain View is scheduled to visit rival Los Altos 4 p.m. Thursday.
Perez expects the Spartans to finish the season strong after a rough non-league slate.
“Well, this is a team that has faced the top teams in Northern California in CCS,” Perez said of his squad. “We went to the Livermore Stampede, faced top-25 (ranked) California teams. They’re ready for any pitcher. They’ve seen the best. Now they’re ready to take on the best.”