Shorthanded Eagles dispatch Woodcreek

Smith, Schwartz both out of the lineup with illness as Del Oro virtually locks up No. 1 seed
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
-A +A
ROSEVILLE ? Without two of its best hitters Friday, the Del Oro High softball team needed players to step up in roles they weren?t accustomed to against rival Woodcreek. The increase in production came at the heart of the order as Hannah George hit a leadoff double in the top of the fourth and was brought in by Jordan Courage for the only run of the game in a 1-0 victory over the Timberwolves. The win likely sealed the Eagles? bid for the Sierra Foothill League championship and the No. 1 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. ?It definitely means we?re strong all the way down our lineup,? said George, who finished 1-for-3 with a run scored. ?Take a few players (out) and we can easily just mix them around and we?re still strong and tough.? Del Oro (10-1 SFL, 15-3-2) gained a two-game lead in the league standings over Woodcreek (9-3 SFL, 18-3) with three games to play. The Eagles close out the season May 8 at home against Woodcreek. Woodcreek pitcher Amanda Horbasch was unhittable through the first three innings as she retired the Eagles in order the first time through the lineup. George connected on the first pitch she saw in the fourth and ripped it into the left-center gap. Courtney Smith followed with sacrifice bunt and Courage hit a chopper up the middle to drive in what would be the winning run. Smith and Courage both played outside of their customary spots in the lineup with senior shortstop Whitney Smith and sophomore left fielder Maicy Schwartz both out with an illness. ?To be down our No. 2 and No. 3 hitters and one of the best shortstops, if not the best shortstop, in the league and our left fielder is outstanding,? Del Oro coach John Peck said. ?Some girls had to step up and I think they did a good job. They were a little nervous but I think they settled down and took care of business.? Courage picked up the complete-game win on three hits and six strikeouts. Horbasch struck out 11 and gave up two hits.