Matadors edge Lions in thriller

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BY TED APODACA: The Bolsa Grande High softball team hung on to beat Westminster, 7-6, in a non-league game, last week at Bolsa Grande. It was the fifth win for the Matadors, who have found some consistency after several down years, including a one-win season last year.

The Matadors have developed enough talent to be more competitive this year, but aside from the game skills, the team is learning how to play as a team.

“They trust each other and they play as a team,” head coach Nikole Terflinger said of the turnaround.

BY TED APODACA: The Bolsa Grande High softball team hung on to beat Westminster, 7-6, in a non-league game, last week at Bolsa Grande. It was the fifth win for the Matadors, who have found some consistency after several down years, including a one-win season last year.

The Matadors have developed enough talent to be more competitive this year, but aside from the game skills, the team is learning how to play as a team.

“They trust each other and they play as a team,” head coach Nikole Terflinger said of the turnaround.

The team is following the lead of senior shortstop Kayleen Rodriguez, a four-year varsity player who anchors the middle of the defense. Rodriguez was 2 for 4 against the Lions, with a run, an RBI and four putouts. Junior third baseman Krystal Jimenez provides solid defense down the line.

Against Westminster, as the Lions crept to within one run of tying the game in the seventh, Jimenez came up with the game-ending play. She stopped a hard grounder with runners on first and second, to get the third out. She also had a hit and an RBI in the game.

At first base, senior Bianca Ramirez has played steady defense and is among the leaders on offense. In the outfield, senior Xuyen Do gives the outfield experience. Against Westminster, she had four putouts, while going 2 for 4 with two runs on offense. Jimenez had a hit and an RBI and senior outfielder Kelly Vargas had a double, run scored and two RBI.

In the circle, the Matadors have turned to first-year varsity player Alicia Castaneda, a junior. Castaneda has been steady so far this year. Terflinger said that the key has been her trust in the defense behind her. It has allowed Castaneda to pitch relaxed and not try to do too much.

“She’s really stepped it up and done her job,” Terflinger said.

The Matadors will play at Century High on Thursday (March 31) at 3:15 p.m. They will open Garden Grove League play on April 5, at Los Amigos, at 3:15 p.m.