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Sweet 16: Placer puts up tons of runs on new softball scoreboard

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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The Lady Hillmen lit up their brand new scoreboard.

Placer used a nine-run first inning Thursday to jump out to an early lead and never looked back, recording a 16-2 Pioneer Valley League victory over visiting Foothill.

“It was good to see them swing the bats and be aggressive at the good pitches and lay off the ones they didn’t want,” said co-coach Christine Pierce. “They put the ball into play, scored runs and did exactly what they needed to do.”

The first six batters Placer sent to the plate — Abbie Strickland, Kaelin Amrein, Brooke Stufflebean, Kaitlyn Rubio, Kassidy Kosmata and Sarah Kosmata — all scored before Foothill even recorded its first out of the game. Lela and Aurora Scott also made it home safely before Strickland tallied her second run of the opening frame.

“It was nice to come out with a big lead,” said starting pitcher Amrein, who doubled and tripled in the first inning.

Coming off two straight losses where they were outscored 12-4, the big frame helped power a 14-hit day for the Lady Hillmen (6-12-1, 3-2).

Even though Placer put runs on the board in every inning, it seemed at times that the team was holding back from running up the score.

“We only scored on the base hits, we didn’t steal,” said co-coach Aaron Rubio. “We didn’t want to embarrass the other team.”

Marie Schultes, the German foreign exchange student who had never played softball before coming to America, tallied her first RBI of her career. Schultes help put the Lady Hillmen up 13-0 in the third, drawing a large round of applause from the fans and her teammates.

“It makes you feel all warm and gooey inside,” Rubio said of how far Schultes has come in such a short time.

Pierce and Rubio said Amrein tossed one of her better recent outings, striking out eight in her five-inning complete game. She had a no-hitter going into the fourth inning before she gave up four late hits and two unearned runs.

The Lady Hillmen return to the diamond Tuesday when they take on Center in Antelope. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter@matthewkimel