On April 26, San Leandro High School’s softball team scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to cap a huge comeback and defeat Piedmont, 7-5, on the Highlanders’ Senior Day. The celebration of Piedmont’s 8 seniors and their families was a big hit regardless of the outcome of the game.
The game started out well for Piedmont (6-8). The Highlanders took a 1-0 lead in the first when Camille Creighton singled in Kylie Heller.
Piedmont scored three in the second, all coming home with two outs. Caroline Strauch singled in one, then Heller doubled in another. Kyra Gardner singled in the final run of the inning to make the score 4-0.
In the third, Erin Sturdivant squeezed in Rachel Elliott for another run.
San Leandro’s comeback started in the fifth on Kaitlyn Quintal’s sacrifice fly. It was still 5-1 Piedmont into the top of the seventh, but Maya Flores led off with a home run for the Pirates. One out later, Naomi Churchill did the same. Crystal Abarca tripled in a run to make it 5-4, and then stole home to tie the game.
Churchill led off the 9th for San Leandro with a double. Aritza Brown then singled Churchill in to break the 5-5 tie. Jennifer Rojas later singled in an insurance run.
All eight of Piedmont’s seniors started: Strauch, Heller, Gardner, Creighton, Elliott, Sturdivant, Maeve Gilbert and Chloe Tjogas.
On April 24, the Highlanders fell 8-1 at Berkeley. Creighton hit a solo home run in the seventh for Piedmont’s only run. Berkeley took control with a five-run 4th inning. Czar Fleischman doubled in two runs to get the inning going. Mackenzie Andrew then doubled in Fleischman. Andrew scored on an error and Leah Wildmann singled in the final run of the inning.
On April 23, the Highlanders got three hits apiece from Creighton and Gardner as Piedmont came from behind to beat host San Leandro, 11-9.
Piedmont got six strong innings on the mound from Izzy Epstein to pick up the win. It was the Highlanders first game in 13 days after Spring Break.
Piedmont took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a two-run triple by Gilbert. The Pirates tied it up in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-double by Ariana Perez, and a run that scored on a passed ball.
The Highlanders went back up in the second on an RBI-ground out off the bat of Strauch. But San Leandro took the lead in the bottom of the inning, with Crystal Abarca hitting a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 Pirates. Diana Morales had a sacrifice fly for San Leandro in the 3rd as the Pirates scored two more runs to take a 6-4 lead.
A five-run 4th inning gave Piedmont the lead for good. Gardner doubled in one run and Creighton doubled in another for the Highlanders.
Tjogas hit a two-run triple in the top of the seventh to extend the lead to 11-7. That proved key as the Pirates rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 7th on Quintal’s two-run single before Piedmont shut the door.
The Highlanders play 4 games this week before finding out about WACC and NCS playoffs. They face Bishop O’Dowd at PHS on 4/30; Castro Valley at PHS on 5/1; Arroyo away on 5/2; and Alameda away on 5/3. All games start at 4PM.
Photos by Len Gilbert