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Elk Grove Citizen

Eagles Take the Win

Apr 25, 2024 09:45AM ● By Alejandro Barron

Riley Bigley prepares to hit during the away game for the Pleasant Grove Eagles vs. the Elk Grove Thundering Herd. Bigley would hit an RBI sacrifice fly for the third Eagles run in their 3-1 victory on April 17. Photo by Alejandro Barron

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - The offense for the Pleasant Grove Eagles jumped on the Elk Grove Thundering Herd early, as three runs in the first two innings were enough to take the win at Elk Grove High School on April 17 by a score of 3-1. 
This win can be attributed to the Eagles being able to stick to a game plan, head coach of the Eagles Brian Cherry said, despite them getting away from it in the later innings of the game.
“We have a game plan coming in and we stuck to that the first couple innings, then kind of went away from it so they (the Herd) were able to keep us from scoring a bunch of more runs later in the game because we went away from our game plan and that’s what we kept talking about and sometimes it’s tough but a win is a win,” Cherry said.  
The Eagles offense being aggressive was a part of this plan as they were able to take advantage of early opportunities when Lindsay Paredes drove in the first run of the ballgame in the first inning off the Herd’s Madison Carda. 
The next two runs came in the second inning when Mindy Brian led off with a single for the Eagles, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Carly Henderson to bring Lawson up. 
She hit a ground ball to third, which led to a botched rundown with Brian caught between second and third when the ball was thrown into left field to set up runners on first and second with one out. 
A walk to Shealynn Stinson led to an RBI single for Natalie Broazaitis, then a Riley Bigley sacrifice fly for an RBI to give the Eagles the 3-0 lead.
Another component of this game plan was pitching as Madeline Lawson went seven innings pitched allowing three hits, one unearned run and struck out eight batters. 
“Not a whole lot you can say bad about her (Lawson) as she throws well, hits her spots well, keeps everyone off balance because she throws on both sides of the plate and she’s tough to hit,” Cherry said. 
Lawson would find herself in jams, such as in the second inning when she loaded the bases after two walks to Jenna Porto, Kaylee Buck and a single from Jadyn Magnuson but would strike out the side to get out of it. 
Herd head coach Amanda Buck said that her team was unable to take advantage of these early chances because they weren’t ready to play.
“I think we weren’t ready to play in the beginning and it was like that with Franklin yesterday. We gave up two or three runs in the first and second inning, so we have to come out ready to play better and we have to change our pre-game situation,” Buck said.
Herd starting pitcher Carda went seven innings pitched and allowed five hits, three runs, three walks and one unearned run due to the errors in the second inning from her defense. 
“I think Madison did a good job of settling down and I told her she needs to start a little better,” Buck said. “Madison is the best pitcher in our league, in my opinion.” 
Buck said that Madison wasn’t hitting her spots early on and told both her pitchers that they need to prepare better their pre-game routine as they can’t miss their spots against good teams. 
The Herd bounced back after leaving the bases loaded in the second as an RBI single for Porto gave them their lone run. After the third inning, Lawson would settle in and would only allow one hit. 
With this win, the Eagles, Herd and the Sheldon Huskies move to 4-2 league record for a three-way tie for second place as the second half of the season is set to begin April 19. 
Both coaches are preparing their teams for the second half with Buck saying she’ll be mentally preparing the Herd as she feels her team is lackadaisical with so much downtime at home and is more mentally ready on the road. 
As for the Eagles, Cherry will help his team relax to be able to succeed.  
 “Keeping them (the Eagles) on their game plan will be the toughest part, but we just got to let them play loose as the more stress we put on them, the harder it is for them to succeed,” Cherry said.