St. Bernard’s junior Rachel Rodrigues came up with a big hit in both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday, as the Crusaders took control of the Little 4 with a sweep of defending champion Hoopa Valley.
Rodrigues hit a walk-off single to secure a 3-2 win for the home team in the opener, and had a home run in the nightcap to key a 9-4 victory.
The junior was one of several St. Bernard’s players to step up in their biggest two games of the year so far, with the Crusaders belting out 29 base hits on the day.
“I’m very happy, The kids really came out ready to play,” St. Bernard’s head coach Alan Borges said. “We hit the ball extremely well.”
The sweep puts the Crusaders in the driver’s seat in the Little 4, with a record of 5-0 (6-5 overall), while Hoopa dropped to 2-2 (3-5 overall).
The two teams are considered the frontrunners in this year’s conference and will meet again in Hoopa later in the month.
For now, however, it definitely gives the Crusaders the upper hand.
“It is a huge sweep,” Borges said. “These kids are really starting to feel what it’s like to be a team and trust each other, and it’s starting to show.”
The win was the fifth straight for the young Crusaders, with one senior in particular again leading the way.
Ally Del Grande continues to set the tone for the team in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate, and was outstanding once again on Saturday.
Del Grande pitched both wins, striking out six batters in each while also finishing with six hits, including going 4-for-4 in the nightcap.
Sophomore Kara Waterman also continued to impress with three hits in the opener, as did freshman Emma Wilson, with three hits over the two games.
Rodrigues and Courteney Goodman each added two hits in both games, while senior Calissa Stokesberry continued her impressive season with three hits over the two games, including a home run in the second game.
McKenzie Finck also had three hits in the nightcap, while Alyssa Liles had two.
Liles also had a hit in the opener.
For Hoopa, Daisy Tracy had two hits in the opener, while Alexia Jackson drove in both of her team’s runs.
In the nightcap, Jackson, Tracy, Beyonce Bussell, Jasmine Kinney, Naschewen Hunsucker, Estelle Colegrove and Dawn Latham VanPelt each had a hit.