BY STEPHEN LYNCH For The Californian
Getting hits off Kadyn Smith has been a difficult task for opponents this season.
Scoring runs off the Bakersfield Christian sophomore pitcher has been even tougher.
Smith demonstrated once again her dominance in the circle against Ridgeview on Monday. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out eight batters in a complete-game 5-3 victory for the visiting Eagles over a Wolf Pack squad that entered the pivotal South Yosemite League game riding a four-game winning streak.
Smith’s stellar pitching was part of a well-rounded performance by BCHS, which broke out of a tie with Ridgeview for second place in the SYL standings. The Eagles (12-6, 8-2) trail first-place Independence (13-3, 9-0) by 1.5 games.
“I’m proud of the way they played,” BCHS coach Jodi Russell said. “They played the game of softball how it should be played. They played tough defense. The pitcher came out and threw really well. Hit her spots. Our batters had a really good approach at bat today. They swung the bat hard.”
Amanda Lazaro was the hitting star for BCHS in Monday’s victory. The freshman leadoff hitter smacked a two-run home run and an RBI double.
“We did our job,” Lazaro said. “Our defense was solid. We hit the ball well. We did everything good.”
BCHS had nine hits against Ridgeview pitcher Trinity Ybarra.
Both pitchers were effective early.
The game was scoreless until the third inning when Lazaro hammered a 3-0 fastball from Ybarra over the centerfield fence, giving BCHS a 2-0 lead.
“It was amazing,” Lazaro said. “It was all I wanted in that at-bat. I just wanted to bring runners in, and it happened.”
The Eagles added a pair of runs the next inning to extend their advantage to 4-0. Alexis Russell led off the inning with a single. After Ybarra retired the next two batters, Madeline Abernathy and Sophia Ramirez hit back-to-back singles to make it 3-0. Lazaro then followed with a double in the right-center gap that scored another run.
A trio of singles by Macie Millard, Alyna Ruiz, and Te’la Beard helped Ridgeview (12-6, 8-3 SYL) score a run in the fifth.
The Wolf Pack rallied again in the seventh, scoring a pair of runs on Seidy Moruo’s two-run single, before Smith closed her 10th victory of the season by getting Audrey Esparza to pop out to second base.
One of the keys to the victory for Smith was her ability to minimize Ridgeview’s scoring opportunities.
The Wolf Pack left nine runners on base, seven of them in scoring position. Ridgeview, which had seven hits, stranded runners on base in six of the seven innings.
“Their pitcher, that’s what it is,” Ridgeview coach Jerry Dumatrait said. “She’s a stud. She throws really hard. We got our base hits. We just didn’t get timely base hits when we had people on base.”
Thanks to Smith, BCHS has been a difficult team to beat all season. The Eagles six losses this year have come by a combined 17 runs.
“I tease her (Smith) that when she’s on, it’s like playing a video game,” Russell said. “I can push a button and say I want this pitch here and she throws it. It’s fun. I love calling pitches for her.”
Russell is quick to point out that Smith gets plenty of help from the rest of the team.
“They play hard,” Russell said. “It’s a really good team. They like each other. They play hard for each other. There are no individuals out here. It’s a fun, team approach.”