You imagine that, down 10-0, the look on the faces of the Half Moon Bay Cougars college softball team would reflect the loss. Not so.
When Emily Chavez took the plate in the final inning, cheers echoed throughout the dugout, and she looked far from giving up. With the bases loaded, Chavez kept a close eye on every pitch that crossed, not about to swing anything. Then his pitch came, and as the clap of the bat sounded, the dugout exploded. The ground player to first ran through the defense as Mia Modena and Emily Rentel rounded the bases on their way home.
Angelina Yeakley entered the box and a line drive sent Madison Melo home before Mills secured the final on the next game, ending the match with a 10-3 win.
“What I’m going to commend them, and something I’ve been telling them from the start, is that their attitude and support for themselves and their team is really what drives them,” the head coach said. Christina Yeakley. “When they lower themselves, or as a team, the canoe is silent. That last round when they started cheering and having fun, all of a sudden they started playing better.
Skies were clear on a sunny Coastside afternoon Monday at Karen Villa Field as the Cougars took on Mills High School. Both teams were tied for first place in the Peninsula Athletic League before the game.
The Cougars struggled early on. Mills got two on the board in the first inning with a single and home run, and the Vikings continued to circle base, scoring 10 runs on 10 hits over the seven innings.
“This is the first time we’ve seen such quality (from a team) in a long time,” Yeakley said. “I think it was a surprise for our girls. They didn’t expect this caliber of team and unfortunately they didn’t play their best game because they were on their heels.
“They just weren’t ready for it,” she said.
The Cougars seek redemption by facing Mills again at 4 p.m. today at Karen Villa Field. Yeakley said Tuesday’s practice focused on the stick and attitude for the game.
“We have to work on when we make a mistake, brush it off, and make sure we tell ourselves it’s okay,” Yeakley said. “That’s why pencils have erasers. You are going to make mistakes, but how we as individuals and as a team recover is what matters.
“Hopefully (today) you’re going to see a much more confident team,” she said.