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Territorial Dispatch

Sutter Stays Perfect in Shutout Over Ponderosa

May 09, 2024 03:54PM ● By Steven Bryla, photos by Steven Bryla
Sutter senior outfielder/Bethany signee Megan O’Neal (10) yells towards her dugout in excitement after she hit an RBI single in the third inning of the Huskies’ 7-0 win against Ponderosa on Friday, May 3. 

SUTTER, CA (MPG) - The Sutter Union girls’ softball team won their 23rd consecutive game to open the season as they beat the Ponderosa Bruins in a 7-0 shutout on Friday, May 3. 

Sutter Head Coach Stefanie Danna expressed to the Dispatch the game was also an awareness game for epilepsy.

Danna told the Dispatch that Sutter 2022 alumna Kaylee Duncan, who now plays for Northwest Nazarene University, had a teammate that was diagnosed this season with epilepsy and asked Danna if she and the softball program would be able to help spread the awareness.

“When a softball player calls, you answer and help them anyway you can,” Danna said.

Grace Diaz Sutter Huskies

 Sutter senior shortstop Grace Diaz (9) hits a single in the Huskies’ 7-0 win against Ponderosa on Friday, May 3.

The Huskies’ supported by donning purple ribbon in their hair accents and purple-eye-black.

Sutter got on the scoreboard in the first inning when senior third baseman/Sacramento State signee Alexa Carino hit a runs-batted-in (RBI) single for an early 1-0 lead.

Carino had two hits in the game and added another RBI single in the fourth inning. 

Huskies senior pitcher/Boise State signee Olivia Bauer picked up her 10th shutout from the circle this season and 49th career win. Bauer struck out six hitters and gave up six hits.

Ponderosa had their best chance at scoring in the first two innings as they had runners on second and third, but the Sutter defense and Bauer consistently pounding the strike zone kept the Bruins scoreless.

Sutter was able to stretch their lead in the third and fourth innings as the Huskies’ hitting attack reached double-digits (14) for the 20th time of the season and added five runs in the two frames with eight hits.

Sutter senior shortstop Grace Diaz led the way with four hits on the day and was one of four hitters that had a multi-hit game. 

Carino and Diaz told the Dispatch that they have continuously worked on situational hitting through the season. In previous conversations with the Dispatch, Sutter players have expressed certain goals they want to accomplish this season, and the first goal was winning the Pioneer Valley League title 

Alexa Carino Sacramento State signee

 Sutter senior infielder/Sacramento State signee Alexa Carino (8) fields a bunt and throws to first for an out in the Huskies’ 7-0 victory over Ponderosa on Friday, May 3.

The Huskies’ victory over Ponderosa had a playoff feel as the Bruins are the defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III champions and finished last season as the runner-up in the Division III NorCal finals.

Danna told the Dispatch that she was impressed with the energy in the dugout and the way Sutter was able to turn the page in the first couple innings as Ponderosa challenged with base runners.

“Instead of letting that consume them and take over, they shook it off and focused on the next pitch, next at-bat,” Danna said.

She added that things are not always going to be perfect and go the way they want it to in playoffs, but the teams that are successful in the playoffs are able to bounce back quickly.

Sutter completed the regular season on Monday, May 6, as they hosted River Valley and celebrated their nine seniors on the roster.

The CIF SJS softball playoffs begin next week, and the brackets were scheduled to be released on MaxPreps today, Friday, May 10, after 2 p.m.