Piedmont softball falls at home to Alameda

Hailey Ronen fields the ball while Alameda's Soren Firestone runs to second

The Piedmont High School softball team suffered its fourth consecutive loss on April 3, falling to visiting Alameda, 20-4.

The Highlanders are now 2-4-1 on the season and 0-3 in West Alameda County Conference Foothill division play.

Alameda jumped out to a 12-0 lead after the top of the first. The Hornet offense sent 15 batters to the plate, recording seven hits, drawing three walks and taking advantage of two Piedmont errors. Aaliyah Soderlund had a double followed by a two-run single by Abbye Haines to key the inning. Soderlund then capped the inning with a two-run home run.

Pitcher Miya Fujimoto (left) talks to catcher Leah Bell during the first inning

Soderlund ended up 3 for 3 with four RBIs and a triple to go along with the double and homer before getting an early rest. Ashlie Nakano ended up 3 for 5 with five RBI. Katy Lambert was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.

Miya Fujimoto went the distance for the Highlanders, charged with 13 earned runs. She struck out one and walked five.

Leah Bell scored three of Piedmont’s four runs, going 1 for 2 at the plate with three stolen bases.

“My hitting wasn’t (as strong) but I made up for it on the bases, being aggressive, trying to make up as much as I could,” Bell said. “Compared to last game (when the team was shutout), I think we all did a better job of playing for each other, which helped in this game scoring some runs compared to none.”

Bell said the multiple rainouts have had an effect on the Highlanders. They went 17 days between games due to the weather.

Leah Bell steals second base, one of three stolen bases she had in the game against Alameda

“It kind of reminded me of our COVID season when we had four or five games,” she said. “We definitely have a tough schedule ahead of us, but seeing how we’ve done now that we are playing, we’re getting better. But definitely, those rainout games put us back some so we’re going to have to make it up.

“I think we need to come to practice and put the same energy as we do in the games. Also, start earlier. First inning, bring the energy.”

Sa’mara Levi and Gretchen Gerhardy had singles and RBIs for Piedmont.

Sa’mara Levi fires to first

“I told them at the beginning of the year that this year was going to be tough,” Highlander coach Gene Denard said. “No matter the outcome, what the score is, as long as we show improvement every game, we can bank on that. The only thing this is going to do for us is get us hopefully prepared for NCS if we get in.”

On March 31, Piedmont lost to visiting Arroyo, 16-0. Again, Piedmont fell behind quickly, allowing eight runs in the top of the first. Ariana Rocha was 3 for 5 with two RBIs and three runs scored for the Dons, while Addison Dolin was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Hailey Ronen had a single in the fifth inning for the Highlanders.

Angelina Wu started and went 3 2/3 innings for the Highlanders in taking the loss. Just five of the 16 runs she allowed were earned thanks to nine Piedmont errors. Dolin went the distance for the win.

Right fielder Mia Leggett (2) throws the ball in to 2B Gretchen Gerhardy (12)

On March 24, Piedmont fell at Berkeley, 11-8. This time, the Highlanders got out in front, scoring two runs in the top of the first on RBI-singles by Morgan Hunt and Levi. However, the bottom of the first saw the Yellowjackets scored four. Piedmont immediately tied it up with two in the second. Fujimoto singled in one and later scored on an error.

But Berkeley was able to take control with three in the third and two in the fourth. The Highlanders got two runs back in the top of the fifth thanks to an error. The Yellowjackets matched those two in the bottom of the inning.

Hunt doubled in two in the sixth, but that was the end of the scoring.

Niahni Benson fields a ball in the outfield

Wu, Fujimoto, Hunt, and Levi each had two hits in the game. Fujimoto went the distance on the mound, allowing just two earned runs in six innings, thanks to six errors.

Piedmont is scheduled to play at Bishop O’Dowd on April 5.

Photos by Damin Esper

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