Gritty Vikings take DH to finish non-league schedule at 12-3

Jasmine Mixco watches her game-winning double against Merced
Jasmine Mixco watches her game-winning double against Merced

West Valley used solid outings from its pitching staff to rally past Merced 6-5 and Folsom Lake 5-1 Friday at Viking Field to close out their non-conference schedule. The Vikings (12-3, 0-0 Coast-South) open the ultra-competitive Coast-South Thursday (2/22) at arch-rival San Jose City (8-1, 0-0).

Five WVC pitchers saw action in the circle Friday, with the quintet surrendering just six hits in eight innings against the Blue Devils and only four in seven frames against the Falcons.

The Vikings showed their gritty, never-say-die side in the 6-5 win over the Blue Devils (5-7, 0-0 Central Valley). Merced was up 2-0 after three innings, but the Vikings evened it up with two runs in the fourth and then grabbed a 4-3 lead in the fifth.

Larissa Higgins ripped an RBI double down the left field line that drove in Keithleen Gonzalez to highlight the two-run WVC fifth. Merced tied it at 5-5 in the top of the seventh and then grabbed a 5-4 lead in the eighth.

Xochitl Garcia's single drove in KG Gonzalez with the equalizer in the bottom of the eighth and Jasmine Mixco put it away with an RBI double to right-center that scored Garcia.

Mixco finished 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Andrea DeJesus went 2-for-3 and KG Gonzalez was 1-for-2 with three runs scored. Garcia pitched only the eighth but picked up the win in the circle. Samantha Mader recorded five K's in three innings of middle relief. Starter Miranda Torres (three innings pitched) and Alysia Elizarrey (one IP) also had solid outings.

The Vikings spotted Folsom Lake a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but it was all West Valley from there. WVC scored twice in the second and three in the fourth to notch the win.

The three-run fourth was highlighted by back-to-back-to-back leftfield singles from Alina Perez, Marissa Rodriguez and Brianna Chambers Lee.

Ashlie Nakano, as usual, was consistent and efficient, earning the complete-game win. She kept the Falcons (4-6, 0-0 Big 8) in check, surrendering just one hit, one walk and four hits, along with four strikeouts.

Mixco and Perez paced a nine-hit WVC attack with 2-for-3 outings.

First pitch at SJCC Thursday is 3:00pm.