The Foothill High School softball team exploded for 13 runs in a four-inning stretch to defeat visiting Granada 13-7 Thursday in a battle between two of the top teams in the North Coast Section.
“Ultimately our offense carried us today,” said Foothill coach Greg Chandler, whose team improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the East Bay Athletic League with the victory. It trailed 1-0 until it scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning. “Second time through the lineup, big game, these are the one and two teams in NCS right now … As both teams settled in, they started hitting.”
Both teams were able to score runs in bunches in different ways. Foothill produced 15 hits – 12 singles, three doubles – and five walks. Granada had nine hits – six singles, a double and two home runs, including a tape-measure blast by Saskia Raab – and three walks.
But Foothill’s base-to-base attack won the game with a score that is more similar in football than top-notch softball.
“We were really wanting to battle today,” said Foothill catcher and cleanup hitter Marissa Anderson, who was 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. “Obviously Granada is the league favorite, so we definitely wanted to battle against them, and I think we just put our heart and soul out there today and I’m so proud of my teammates.”
Granada (5-1, 1-1) took the lead in the top of the first when Lauren Melton reached base on an error, went to second on a wild pitch, reached third on a flyout to right field, and scored on a passed ball. That run held until the bottom of the third inning, when Foothill broke through with four straight singles to start the inning and five total in the frame, including run-scoring hits from Anderson and Amanda Bilter.
The Matadors came back to tie the score 3-3 in the top of the fourth, which included Raab’s solo shot to deep center field on the first pitch of the inning. Chandler estimated the blast was at least 270 feet. Delilah Vanderbeek also had an RBI single in the inning.
But Foothill answered right back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Anderson broke the tie with an RBI single to center field, followed by a run-scoring single by AvaMarie Perry and a two-run double by Bilter.
Again, Granada’s first batter of an inning slammed a home run, as Delaney Aumua crushed a home run over the left-field fence to narrow the score to 7-4 in the fifth inning. Foothill got that run back in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Ellie Novitske and Kaycie Burdick.
The Matadors kept battling, however. They scored three in the top of the sixth, as Aumua ripped a two-run double and later scored on an error, cutting Foothill’s lead to 8-7.
However, the Falcons delivered the final blow with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, including an RBI single by Naima Braham and a two-run single by Novitske.
“They hit well,” said Granada coach Johnny Heinz about Foothill. “That’s probably one of the worst games we’ve played, to be honest. No excuses here. … You’ve got to make little changes, that’s what we talk about all the time. … They played a good game, hats off to them. They did a good job.”
Novitske and Bilter both had three hits for Foothill. Novitske, the leadoff hitter, was 3 for 5 with two runs scored and three RBI. Bilter was 3 for 3 with three RBI, a run scored and a walk. Both players had one double.
For Granada, Aumua was 2 for 4 with a home run and a double, three RBI and two runs scored. Leanna May was 2 for 4 with a run scored, and Lauren Deplitch was 2 for 3 with a run scored.
On Wednesday, Foothill won its EBAL opener 4-3 over visiting Livermore. The Falcons scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Novitske was 3 for 4, including a double, and scored two runs in the game. Emily Mayer had a double and two RBI in the win. Livermore’s Kimber Dao drove in two runs in the loss.
Granada shut out Dublin 11-0 on Tuesday in the Matadors’ EBAL opener. Raab was 2 for 3, including a triple, with two runs scored and two stolen bases.