Pacheco High’s softball team received a shot in the arm with Tuesday’s debut of Central Catholic transfer Gia Rodoni in a 5-0 victory over Patterson. Rodoni mowed down the Patterson lineup, striking out 20 in the complete-game effort.
“It’s a big, big boost, that’s for sure,” Pacheco coach Charlie Pikas said. “It definitely put us at a different level out there today. It just really kind of solidifies some things.”
Rodoni didn’t give the Pacheco defense too much to work with. She allowed one hit, three walks, a hit batsman and a runner on a dropped third strike).
Pikas was happy with what the team did offensively, with a 3-for-4, three-run day from leadoff batter Arianna Barton and a three-RBI day from freshman shortstop Sammy Jacquez. Catcher Yadira Castillo added a double.
“Our defense obviously got a little better, and our offense was able to produce today too,” Pikas said. “You can go out there and have somebody throwing up zeroes, but if you don’t score runs, you still won’t have anything.
“It’s a huge shot in the arm,” Pikas said, “but at the same time, we’re still taking a good team approach.”
Rodoni, a Los Banos native whose father Brian Rodoni coaches offensive line for Pacheco’s football team, transferred this past winter. Because there was no family move at the time of her transfer, section rules said she had to sit out until April 7. Her debut was set for Monday’s game against Central Catholic, but Pacheco’s game against Patterson was rained out last week.
Rodoni, who has verbally committed to Baylor University, threw a variety of pitches and found her spots.
“We were calling every pitch she can throw,” Pikas said. “What I was probably more impressed with today was how she finished the game. It felt like 90 degrees today, and it being her first game back, she went the full seven innings.”
Rodoni’s eligibility comes just as Pacheco (8-7, 2-4 in Western Athletic Conference play) is preparing for an important week to start the second round of league play. The Panthers host Central Catholic (5-9, 3-2) on Monday, then travel to Ceres (11-2, 5-0) on Wednesday and Livingston (1-10, 0-5) on Wednesday.
“Half of our second half of league is next week,” Pikas said. “Our goal going in is it would be nice to be 3-0, but we have a number in our head, and if we get two wins we’ll have that number.”