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Prep softball: Next for GV: A response

Golden Valley and new head coach lose first game of season

Posted: March 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley pitcher Sydney Herrera throws a pitch on Friday at Golden Valley High, The Grizzlies lost 8-0.

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First-year Golden Valley softball head coach Hugo Castillo spent an extra few minutes talking to his team after Friday's game.

It's all part of his process in helping the young group learn how to deal with the adversity it will face throughout the season.

That includes games like Friday's, which Golden Valley lost 8-0 to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks at Golden Valley High School.

"I want to make sure everything really sinks in," Castillo said of his extended postgame speech.

He mainly wanted to make sure the players don't dwell on the loss and keep it in perspective.

Going into the seventh inning, it didn't appear as if the game was headed toward a lopsided result, as the Grizzlies trailed just 3-0.

It could have been closer had Golden Valley shortstop and University of Auburn-bound Branndi Melero's shot to left field traveled another couple of feet in the fourth inning.

Instead, the ball kicked off the wall and Melero was in for a leadoff double.

She ended up getting tagged out at home later in the inning, which ended the biggest threat in the game for the Grizzlies (1-1).

Outside of that, Notre Dame pitcher Marisa Keckeisen shut down the Golden Valley lineup, pitching all seven innings and striking out seven while allowing six hits.

"It's only the second game of the season, and we just need to get back into the groove of hitting," said Golden Valley pitcher Sydney Herrera.

Though the Knights (1-0) had several chances to score early in the game, Herrera, who also pitched the entire game, worked out of multiple jams.

That was until the seventh inning when Notre Dame batted through the lineup, scored five runs off seven hits and blew it wide open.

The Knights did it with base hits and moving runners along.

"We try to do all the small things," said Notre Dame head coach Dana Vasquez. "We are a team that relies on fundamentals, and when we do all those things, that's how we win games."

It's the same things Castillo said he's trying to get his team to do, but at this point, he wants them to stay competitive like they did early in Friday's contest.

In the top of the third, the Knights got their first couple of runs with RBI hits by Caroline Shores and Olivia Lucchese.

They added a third run in the sixth.

Lucchese had two RBIs and went 2-for-4.

Notre Dame shortstop Melanie Allegretti went 3-for-4 with two triples and crossed the plate twice.

"They were just hitting gaps and we needed to make the adjustments," Herrera said of the Knights' hitters.

It's still early, so Castillo doesn't see any reason to worry about his team's first loss of the season.

"I'm very curious to see how we respond to this," Castillo said. "How you respond to adversity helps you realize your true depths."




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