The Arroyo Grande Eagles’ Bailee Arrington put the icing on the cake.
Arrington’s fourth inning grand slam that sailed far over the left-field fence capped the scoring in the Eagles’ 16-0 shutout Thursday afternoon at Santa Ynez High School.
The non-league softball game was called after five innings because of the run rule.
“We knew Arroyo Grande was strong,” said Santa Ynez coach Denicia Gills. “We hit the ball hard today – it’s just that we hit it right to their people.”
In the field, the Eagles’ defense was perfect.
It began with pitchers Emma and Claire Holt.
The sisters combined to hold the Pirates to three hits with left-handed junior Emma giving up just one hit in her two innings of work.
Freshman right-hander Claire then finished up with two hit ball to earn the win over the final three innings.
“It was a solid performance,” said Arroyo Grande coach Joe Ramirez. “Emma only pitched two innings so Claire, who pitched the final three, gets the win but they both did a great job.”
The Eagles’ offense got hot right off the bat, scoring four runs in the first.
With one out in the top of the inning, Angel Harris singled through short, the first of her three singles on the day.
Harris stole second and scored when Bri Giordano doubled to left field. Giordano also had a two-run triple in the second and a single in the third.
Arrington knocked in Giordano with a single to left then came home on Anaiah Caudill’s grounder.
The Eagles piled it on with seven runs in the second when Arroyo Grande sent 12 batters to the plate.
With one out, Sarah Equilez singled, Kaela Grisham got aboard on an error and Angel Harris beat out a bunt that scored Equilez.
Giordano followed with her triple and the Eagles were cruising with a 7-0 lead.
With the bases loaded, Kerrian Aguilera got an RBI on a walk in her second at bat of the inning.
Equilez, in her second at bat of the inning, knocked in two more runs off a Santa Ynez error and the Eagles were up 10-0 after two.
In the fourth, Claire Holt singled, Patricia Tapia singled and Emily Tyler walked to load the bases.
Koree Rush and Harris each followed with RBI singles which set the stage for Arrington’s blast.
“We were definitely aggressive at the plate,” said Ramirez. “Bailee’s grand slam was a real pick-me-up for the team. She did a great job of hitting today and was strong on defense at first base. She is definitely a solid player all around.”
Although the Pirates had runners on in each inning, the Holt sisters kept them from scoring.
In the first inning, Emma Holt struck out the first batter and then gave up a single to Nicole Atiles.
A ground out to third and a strikeout quickly ended the threat.
In the second, Emma Holt hit one batter and walked another but a ground out and two strikeouts kept the Pirates off the scoreboard.
On came Claire Holt who gave up a single to the first batter she faced – Senia Vega. But she retired the side on a foul popup, a grounder to short and a ground ball that catcher Kerrian Aguilar grabbed and threw to Arrington at first to keep the shutout going.
Briana Castro singled in the Pirates’ fourth but a grounder to first and two strikeouts ended that inning.
The Eagles finished the shutout in the fifth. The Pirates Amaris Cabrera was hit by a pitch but was cut down at second on the next play on a fielders’ choice. Two fly balls, one to left and the other to center, completed the shutout.
“I was glad that we were able to use every one of our players today,” said Ramirez. “Santa Ynez is a good team and I’m happy all the girls were able to contribute to the win.”
“We did exactly what we wanted. We stuck to our game plan,” said Gills. “We had our two best catchers out ill today and we had to try some people at new positions so overall I think we did a great job. I think we accomplished a lot even though the score doesn’t show it.”
Arroyo Grande is back in action Friday with another non-league game, this one at Cabrillo.
The Pirates are hoping their next game is Saturday in their own Santa Ynez Tournament but with rain in the forecast, the schedule could change.