Dos Pueblos used potent hitting to eliminate any drama in the third Channel League meeting between the Chargers and Lompoc in softball on Friday at Okinaka Field.
The Chargers banged out 13 hits, including two home runs and two doubles, in a 13-3 victory that was called in the fifth inning under the 10-run mercy rule.
“I don’t like drama,” DP coach Mike Gerken emphasized after his team’s lopsided win, which followed a 6-4 victory that was decided in the seventh inning on Tuesday and a 1-0 victory last month against the Braves. “I like sure things. Our last two games were full of drama.”
The first-place Chargers (12-5 overall) improve to 8-1 in league and have a two-game lead over Lompoc (8-3) and a one-game lead over idle San Marcos (7-2) in the Channel League standings. DP and San Marcos are scheduled to play a makeup game next Thursday.
The top five hitters in the DP lineup combined for 11 hits against two Lompoc pitchers. Cleanup hitter Jessica Reveles went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs. She had a home run nullified in the third inning when the base umpire ruled that she missed touching first base.
She came back in the fifth and hit a two-run single that gave DP a 10-run lead and ended the game.
Lead-off hitter Bella Nuño doubled to start a four-run first inning and belted a two-run homer to straightaway center field in a four-run third.
Nuño said the team was relaxed going into Friday’s important game.
“This game we were trying not to press,” she said. “We were coming off a tough loss against (San Marcos last week), but we knew coming into these two games (against Lompoc) it was going to be tough. We knew that we had to stay calm and execute like we can, and that’s exactly what we did.”
Nuño has been the catalyst behind DP’s potent offense.
“I’ve just been really comfortable at the plate,” she said. “We had two really good practices coming into this game, and my approach has been calm. I try not to do too much and that’s why I’ve been executing as much as I have.”
Gerken said Nuño’s big hits on Friday were “a testament of her taking extra swings. She stays late almost every practice and just hits buckets and buckets of balls. And there’s no pitch she can’t hit if she sees it in the right situation.”
He noted that she hit 22 balls over the fence in a recent practice.
“She’s got some power and some pop, and she’s really dialed in right now,” he said.
Lompoc jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Reitmeier hit two-run double off DP starter Georgia Wilson. The Chargers responded with four runs in the bottom of the first.
Nuño doubled to start the inning, went to third on a single by Mia Reveles and scored when Riley Monroe’s short fly ball to left field was dropped. Jessica Reveles singled and Georgia Wilson followed with a two-run single to put the Chargers in front, 3-2.
Lompoc changed pitchers, bringing in Brianna Reitmeier to replace starter Cheyanne Cordova.
Lacy Spear of the Chargers reached base on a fielder’s choice against Reitmeier, who struck out the next batter. Leila Chisholm followed with a double to score Trisha Lo for a 4-2 lead. Lo was pinch running for Wilson.
Dos Pueblos scored three runs in the second to go up 7-2. Mia Reveles singled, Monroe walked and they pulled off a double steal. The Braves threw the ball away, allowing Reveles to score.
Jessica Reveles singled to bring home Monroe and Wilson plated Reveles with a sacrifice fly to center.
Cordova drove in a run for Lompoc in the top of the third.
The Chargers answered with four in the bottom of the inning. Pau Avina had a RBI double, Nuño smacked a two-run homer and Monroe cleared the left-field fence for a solo shot, boosting the lead 11-3.
“The kids responded very well today,” said Gerken. “We had a really good week of practice and we emphasized focus, focus, focus. They came out and they were focused and they didn’t blink after giving up two runs in the first inning. We just kept putting on every inning.
“I’m very proud of the effort today, especially at the plate.”