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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Eagles shut out Downtown College Prep Alum Rock 16-0

Isabella Lo
Shortstop Joy Hu (10) prepares to swing during the team’s game against DCP Alum Rock. “We improved a lot because in the beginning, only four players actually knew how to play beforehand,” Joy said.

The varsity softball team crushed Downtown College Prep Alum Rock High School 16-0 at Blackford on Friday.

The Eagles began the game with a first-inning shutout. Though two of the Lobos made it on base, pitcher Raeanne Li (9) struck three players out to end the first half of the inning.

At Harker’s turn to bat, center fielder Grace Fu (9) stepped up to the plate and earned a base hit, advancing to first base. She then stole second base during Raeanne’s turn at bat. After the Lobos pitcher walked shortstop Joy Hu (10), the bases were loaded. Second base Olivia Guo (11) stepped up to bat, sending two runs home with a strong hit to left field. Another base hit from catcher Maddie Avila (9) led to one more run for the Eagles. Captain and first base Isha Kotalwar (12) built on the momentum by hitting the ball to center field for a single, safely reaching first base without any interference. The Eagles continued their onslaught, scoring 10 runs in the first inning. 

Isha Kotalwar (12) runs to first base after batting. Isha is currently the only senior on a team of mostly underclassmen. (Claire Yu)

On the sidelines, teammates offered their support in fun chants and helpful comments. Coach Raul Rios ended the inning and called the team to step off the bases for two outs in a show of sportsmanship.

Harker started the second inning strong with Raeanne catching the ball and passing it out to Grace for an out at first base. The Lobos responded with a walk to first and a steal to second, but the first half of the inning ended shortly after with two strikeouts by Raeanne. 

Because it is the team’s first year back from a two-year absence, the Eagles remain short in numbers. In this game, the team had to work around a shortage of players due to other extracurricular conflicts.

“A lot of us stepped out of our comfort zone and tried something new, both this game and the game we had on Wednesday, so I thought that was really cool,” Raeanne said. “Also, because our senior had to leave after the first inning, Grace, who has never played first base before, played first base and she got an out today.”

Maddie quickly got on base and stole second base after Alum Rock struggled to retrieve Maddie’s hit. Right fielder Michael Harley (10) brought Maddie in to score with a base hit. After right fielder Elaine Xu (9) struck out, the Eagles scored five more times, ending the inning 16-0.

Raeanne Li (9) hits the ball and earns a base hit. The Eagles were short in numbers during the game, with some players even having to play different positions. (Claire Yu)

Throughout the season, the Eagles have emphasized batting practice. Many of them did not have batting experience in the beginning, but each player garnered a hit in this game.

“We improved a lot because in the beginning, only four players actually knew how to play beforehand,” Joy said. “The first practice was five or six people showing up, and some people haven’t even picked up a glove or a ball or a bat, but we put our all in it, so now we’re doing really well.”

The third inning continued the Eagles’ dominance, highlighted by Raeanne’s quick catch after a line drive. Although Raeanne walked a runner to first, the inning quickly ended with a double play. She struck a batter out, and Maddie threw the runner, trying to steal second out.

Because Harker was up by 16 runs in the third inning, the umpires concluded the game due to mercy rule. When a team is up by more than 20 points before the third inning, 15 before the fourth inning, or 10 before the fifth inning, the game ends. 

With the Eagles’ constant improvement, the team aspires to finish the season strong and end with a winning overall record.

Grace Fu (9) prepares to stop at second base. Grace played first base for the first time in this game due to a shortage of players. (Isabella Lo)

“I hope they keep playing hard,” Rios said. “We got a couple of games left, and we want to end it with at least a winning record or an even record because we started off with a couple of losses, a couple of tough teams. But we want, with the games we have left, to even it out or even end up with a winning season, which is our goal.”

The team currently holds a 3-5 record. They play DCP Alum Rock in a rematch on April 23. 

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About the Contributors
Isabella Lo
Isabella Lo, Co-Opinions Editor
Isabella Lo (11) is the co-opinions editor for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. This year, she hopes to take better photos and design more creative pages. She likes to play basketball and read in her free time.
Claire Yu
Claire Yu, Reporter
Claire Yu (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Claire hopes to take more photos and not fall behind on her deadlines. In her free time, Claire enjoys listening to music, reading and playing basketball.

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