Cheyenne Mahy was a little too amped up for Atwater High’s Central California Conference softball opener against Merced.
Mahy had an energy drink to thank for that. When the bus was running late to pick up the Falcons from Atwater High, Mahy and some of her teammates decided to go to the store.
“I had a Monster drink so I was extra pumped up,” Mahy said. “I can still feel it in me now. It’s really kicking in.”
Mahy was able to harness the extra energy enough to strike out 12 hitters and limit Merced to just one run on four hits as the Falcons (4-2-1 overall) defeated the Bears 3-1 on Friday afternoon at Merced High.
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Atwater scored runs in each of the first three innings to give Mahy a 3-0 lead to work with early.
Eileen Martinez led off the game with a single and came around to score when Katie Bettis’ two-out single scooted past Merced left fielder Madi Kane and rolled to the fence to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead against Merced starter Abby Flores.
Sarah Wardon added an RBI double in the second inning to score Abby Vierra, who had walked to lead off the inning.
Maritza Iglesias then led off the third inning with a solo home run over the left-field fence to extend the Falcons’ lead to 3-0.
“It’s great reassurance when your team goes out and scores early like we did today,” Mahy said. “It also gives them momentum and we play better on defense.”
Flores settled in after the third and blanked the Falcons the rest of the way.
“It was a pretty well-pitched game on both sides,” said Merced coach John Kane. “It was a good high school softball game. Somebody had to lose. We were just looking for the big hit and couldn’t get it. Obviously, we were facing a good pitcher and that’s hard to do.”
The Bears lone run came in the third inning when Phoebe Arista led off the frame with a triple to right-center field. Jewels Perez plated Arista with an infield single to cut the lead to 3-1.
Mahy was in shutdown mode from that point on.
The right-hander, who signed a national letter of intent to play softball next year at Texas Woman’s University, retired 13 of the final 14 hitters.
“She came out pumped up,” said Atwater coach Robert Santistevan. “She was hitting her spots. Her spins were doing well. She pitched her game.”
The Bears (1-7-2, 0-1) have started slow this season, but Kane likes what he’s seen the last two games.
“That’s how we feel,” Kane said. “We had a good feeling after the Oakdale game the other night. I feel it carried over to today’s game. We just have to find a way to get some wins.”
The Falcons feel with Mahy and company, they will be players in the CCC race.
“I feel from number one on, everyone in my lineup can hit,” Santistevan said. “They all love each other. They’ve bonded from day one. They all believe in each other.”