Hawks unable to handle tough pitching
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Liberty centerfielder Brianna Burgess makes a running catch before hitting the fence during a loss to Stockdale in the Buchanan Preseason Tournament. Burgess injured her wrist on the play, but returned for Saturday’s games.
CLOVIS — After five shutout innings, the Kingsburg Vikings capitalized on a two-run homer in the sixth inning to beat the Liberty Hawks 3-0 at the Buchanan Preseason Tournament.
“It has been a tough tournament for us,” Liberty Hawks head coach Steve Uyeda said. “We’ve had our struggles, especially hitting the ball, but our girls hung in there. It’s just been a tough couple games.”
Although the Hawks played and pitched well Saturday morning, their offense was unable to follow suit throughout the game. Uyeda highlighted hitting is a main concern or future practices.
“Hitting definitely will be addressed in practice,” Uyeda said. “We have to work on getting more hits if we want to win consistently.”
Brianna Burgess led off the first inning with an infield single after the opposing infielder bobbled the short hop.
After a forced out at second, Arianna Guzman followed up with a base hit into right field.Carli Duke followed suit with a base hit that loaded the bases with one out. However, the Hawks were unable to score with the bases loaded.
Guzman continued her dominance from the pitching mound after she struck out consecutive batters to start the second inning. She later used a combination of accurate pitches to close the inning after striking out three batters.
After Guzman allowed a hit in the top of the third, she retired the next two batters to give her team some breathing room. She later fired a fastball high in the zone to get the Viking batter to pop up to right field.
The Hawks offense continued to struggle after they went down in order in the bottom of the third . Guzman and her defense combined to keep the Vikings off the board after the opposing team went down in order. Guzman painted the corners which caused bad swings throughout the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hawks threatened after Madi Devine singled and later advanced to second base. The Hawks didn’t capitalize on the scoring position after the Vikings pitcher struck out the next Hawks batter and the game remained scoreless.
The Hawks followed the same script in the fifth inning after the Vikings went down in order.
Kaylan May led off the bottom of the fifth with a base hit, but was tagged out after trying to steal second base. The Hawks’ offense continued to struggle after another inning without any runs.
The Vikings began the top of the sixth inning after a single to left field. They later scored on a two-run homer to center field to take a 2-0 lead.
The Vikings took a 3-0 lead in the top of the seventh after a sac fly into right field.
The game ended after the Vikings were able to hold off the Hawks by dominant pitching and timely defense.