Lady Tigers finish season undefeated
by Erick Torres
Jun 11, 2014 | 1272 views | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Miako Kitajima winds up another throw in her flawless first inning on June 3 against the overwhelmed Waterford lineup. Kitajima ended up striking out every player in the first and third inning.
Miako Kitajima winds up another throw in her flawless first inning on June 3 against the overwhelmed Waterford lineup. Kitajima ended up striking out every player in the first and third inning.
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Lehua DeLeon swings away during a five run rally in the bottom of the second inning on June 3rd. The relentless offense scored 21 total runs during the game. ----Photos by Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
Lehua DeLeon swings away during a five run rally in the bottom of the second inning on June 3rd. The relentless offense scored 21 total runs during the game. ----Photos by Erick Torres/Patterson Irrigator
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The 13-14 year old Tigers county softball team capped off an impressive undefeated season with a 21-0 victory over Waterford on Tuesday afternoon, June 3. The win marked a bittersweet end to a long journey for the girls, who have played as a unit under the guidance of Coach Rob DeLeon for the last five years. During this span the girls maintained a winning attitude, only losing four games during a five-year span as little leaguers. Most of the girls will also become freshmen in high school next year.

The Tigers were able to surpass their opponents in all phases of the ballgame. A suffocating pitch clinch put on by Miako Kitajima and Kayla Mahan kept the Waterford hitters’ heads spinning all evening.

Kitajima’s pitches showed supreme control in the first and third inning, rendering the Waterford offense useless during her time on the mound.

Mahan matched Kitajima’s poise by pouring in strike after strike. Mahan was able to strike out Waterford in both the fifth and sixth inning, featuring an impressive velocity to her fastball that kept Waterford’s hitters swinging half-seconds after the ball crossed the plate.

Consequently, the two young ladies together pitched a shutout that cruised through the Waterford lineup. The duo allowed only four hits over a span of six innings. They left little hope for a Waterford comeback, permitting little to materialize for the visiting team frame after frame.

This impressive pitching performance was supported by fundamentally sound defense all across the diamond. The 13-14 year old Tigers’ crisp defense did not commit one error, and quickly fielded the four hits with an unmatched intensity.

The Tigers’ batting sequence was just as strong as their defense as well.

Waterford was unable to stop the Tigers from scoring in every inning except the third. From the get-go the Tigers came to play, popping off five runs apiece in the first and second inning. This ten run lead was already more than enough, but the Tigers made sure a comeback was an afterthought as they continually poured in runs.

The Tigers weren’t much for celebrating or chanting. They quietly went about their work inning after inning, letting their skills on the field speak for themselves. Looking at the Patterson squad you wouldn’t have known if they were up or down by ten runs.

Coach Rob DeLeon acknowledged their trademark demeanor, stating, “You know there were some times that they were struggling through the games or through the seasons, but they never gave up and kept on trying.”

DeLeon’s statement shown itself over in leaps and bounds as the game progressed.

Pitch after pitch, the fielders were in ready position, while the pitcher and catcher remained in sync. The girls kept their poise and did everything on the field with the intent to win the ballgame, never settling with their lead.

Coach DeLeon said he was proud of how the team came together and absorbed the teachings he tried to get across about the game’s fundamentals.

“These girls work hard,” he said after the game. “I’m proud of them. This is all for them.”

The undefeated season marked a final farewell to the unit that had played so many years together. When asked one final word to summarize the season and his squad that he has spent so long with, Coach DeLeon said with a proud smirk on his face, “Perfect.”

Erick Torres is the temporary sports writer for the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at spanishfly32@gmail.com.
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