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Well worth it: Atwater mars BC perfection

ATWATER -- With Friday's rematch with Buhach Colony looming, Atwater pitcher Daniella Vineyard reflected on her first encounter with BC.

What she recalled wasn't pretty.

Vineyard was torched for seven runs and only lasted only 1 1/3 innings as Buhach handed its crosstown rivals a 16-2 defeat.

It was Atwater's worst loss of the season.

"I started to think about it, but then I decided it was in the past," Vineyard said. "This was a new game. And I came into it calm and relaxed."

Vineyard wasn't the only one.

With Wednesday's loss to Merced putting an end to Atwater's Central California Conference title hopes, Joe Leonardo's squad took the field pressure free -- and thrived.

With some stellar defensive help, Vineyard tossed a three-hitter and Atwater ruined BC's undefeated conference bid with a 2-1 victory in 10 innings.

Both teams will be in action again next week in the CIF Sac-Joaquin playoffs.

"I'm just so proud of my girls," Leonardo said. "That was the best-hitting team in the conference and Daniella did a great job of keeping them off balance all game."

Sarah Leonardo made sure Vineyard's effort didn't go for naught.

The right fielder drove in both of Atwater's runs -- with a single in the first inning and a fielders choice in the 10th.

Atwater (10-2 CCC, 17-9-1 overall) started the 10th inning with Olivia Sagiura already on second because of the international tiebreaker rule.

Sagiura was sacrificed over to third and BC coach Bobby Dallas elected to load the bases for Sarah Leonardo with consecutive intentional walks.

Leonardo chopped the third pitch she saw to third.

Buhach third baseman Cassie Kalapsa fielded the ball cleanly, but her throw home pulled catcher Brittany Jantz off of the plate.

"I was a little nervous because they'd just walked two people in front of me," Sarah said. "I just wanted to make them pay."

Buhach (11-1 CCC, 19-8) squandered its best chance to win with one out in the ninth inning.

An error and an infield single put the go-ahead run in scoring position with two of the CCC's most dangerous hitters (Morgana Dallas and Kalapsa) due up.

Vineyard regrouped, striking out Dallas and getting Kalapsa on a fly to right.

"I just knew I had to get them," Vineyard said. "Striking out Dallas gave me a lot of confidence.

"We came in calm and just had a lot of fun.

"We're never going to let a team just run over us again."

Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports writer. He can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail at slynch@mercedsun-star.com.

At Atwater

BUHACH 001 000 000 0 -- 1 3 1

ATWATER 100 000 000 1 -- 2 7 1

Alex Molina and Brittany Jantz. Daniella Vineyard and Alex Barenchi. WP -- Vineyard 14-6. LP -- Molina 18-5.

BUHACH COLONY -- Diane Gallagher 2B (RBI).

ATWATER -- Sarah Leonardo 2-5 (2 RBI), Jennifer Fierro 2-4.

Records: Buhach Colony 11-1 CCC, 19-8; Atwater 10-2, 17-9-1

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