LJ Chili Peppers turn up heat in nail-biter

By Coach Peter Nordland, guest contributor

La Jolla Red Hot Chili Peppers played an exciting game against the Mission Bay Power Rangers on March 21.

The Peppers’ pitcher Lisa Perrine started the game with her incredible fastball. But, the Rangers got 3 runs in the first inning.

First to bat for the Peppers was Claire Andrews, who drew a walk. La Jolla’s strategy involved using their running skills and Andrews wasted no time stealing second and third. And when the Mission Bay catcher scrambled for a wild pitch, Andrews stole home.

A few batters later, Paige Nordland challenged the pitcher, who tried to brush her back. She took one for the team when the next pitch hit her. But once on base, she proceeded to steal second and third.

Next up to bat, Kathleen Steel, notched an RBI, driving Nordland home with a crisp single.

The Mission Bay shortstop nabbed the next line drive, ending the inning at 3-2.

The Rangers plated 4 more runs in the top of the second. Peppers Lisette Cadena and Mackenzie Holmes walked before Abbie Tucker got a big hit to drive them in to finish the second inning.

The Rangers responded with 5 RBI in the top of the third, extending their lead to 12-4.

I decided then to save the ace pitcher and asked Andrews to warm up. But, to everyone’s surprise the Peppers scored 5 runs in the bottom of the third to narrow the score to 12-9. The inning brought in hits from Nordland, Perrine, Sarah, Cadena and a double by Adana McWhinney-DeAndrade.

Andrews started the fourth inning with a walk, which led to a stolen second base. The first out was a sacrifice that drove the runner to third.

The next batter smacked a hard shot to the pitcher, who quickly threw to first. First-baseman Perrine got the out and lobbed the ball home, where the runner was headed as the Pepper team yelled: “She’s going home!”

Catcher Mallory Hauser took a position about three feet up the line, took the throw, blocked the plate and as the runner slid hard and the dust settled, the umpire yelled, “You’re out!”

In the bottom of the fourth the Peppers wrangled 5 more runs to take the lead, 14-12, and win the game.

They maintained their unbeaten record at 3-0 with this nail-biter.