by Marc Yanofsky
In an intense game full of emotion, Bonita Vista High School (BVHS) varsity softball team defeated Olympian 2-1 in their final regular season home game and Bonita’s senior night on May 10. With playoffs on the line, senior third baseman Brittany Wyllie and sophomore catcher Maddi Pacini led a late rally to tie the game 1-1 and send the teams to extra innings.
“It was nerve racking, we started off really slow. We should’ve beat them to begin with but it didn’t happen. There were a lot of emotions because it was our senior night and a lot was going on,” senior second baseman Joselle “JoJo” Nicolas said.
Olympian started off the game with three hits in their first three at-bats (AB) making the score 1-0, however, Bonita closed the inning quickly with a double play. Bonita struck out twice in the first inning and continued to struggle throughout the game.
“It was not the way we drew it up. The last time we played them, it was really a slow start. The pitcher they have on their side does a really good job and kept us off balance,” assistant coach Alejandro Jordan said.
Bonita had three hits on eleven AB from the second through fourth inning. Senior pitcher and captain Izzy Ortiz had two strikeouts and allowed two hits. At the start of the fifth inning, sophomore pitcher Mia Marinakis substituted for Ortiz.
“We thought we would have better luck after a rough first inning, Maddi got that double to start off the seventh inning and Brittany (Wyllie) knocked her in [to make it 1-1]. Then, of course, we won in the ninth [inning]. We managed to just stay close and the two pitchers kept us close we were able to win the game,” head coach Ron Pietila said.
Pacini led the lineup in the seventh inning, hitting a double and making it to third after a sacrifice bunt from Maricris “Crissy” Ramirez. After going 1-2 in AB, Wyllie hit a double to center field, batting in the first run for Bonita to tie and force the game to extra innings.
“We kept the game close and when it came time to make the big plays and execute, it was good that a senior did that for us and hit the RBI (run batted in) and the winning run. It ended up in our favor,” Jordan said.
Despite Bonita’s batters striking out twice in the eighth inning, the game was kept alive through the ninth inning where, once again, Pacini led the batting order. Pacini hit a single to centerfield and Ramirez led her to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Wyllie then hit a single, getting Pacini to third and stealing second base. Nicolas hit a game winning walk-off hit, leaving the score at 2-1. Bonita will now advance to CIF playoffs with a record of 20-7.
“We got the win and that’s all that matters, but overall we didn’t play to our expectations. It was kind of disappointing, but we picked it up later in the game,” Pacini said. “Wyllie had a lot of clutch hits and she gave us hope in the game and JoJo demolished the ball and we won the game because of our seniors.”