Opportunistic Vikings secure season sweep of San Jose

Larissa Higgins was huge at the plate and in the field against SJCC.
Larissa Higgins was huge at the plate and in the field against SJCC.

In the recent history of one of the fiercest rivalries in 3C2A, it seems just about anything that can happen does happen. In Tuesday's game at Viking Field, a 4-1 West Valley win, two of the top teams in the north combined for nearly as many errors (six) as they had hits (nine) and left far more runners on base (12) than they're used to.

In the end, another stellar performance from pitcher Ashlie Nakano secured the important Coast Conference victory and gave the Vikings a regular season sweep of the Jaguars for the second straight season. WVC moved to 22-5, 6-2 in the Coast, and dropped SJCC to 21-4 overall and a game behind the Vikings in the Coast at 5-3.

The game was tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the third. West Valley would put three runs on the board for an insurmountable 4-1 lead after three.

In the third, Alina Perez and Keithleen Gonzalez both reached on San Jose errors. Perez was thrown out at third and Gonzalez advanced to second Jasmine Mixco's fielder's choice grounder to short. Andrea DeJesus flew out to center for out number two, but an E5 on the ensuing throw allowed Gonzales to come home with what would prove to be the winning run.

Mixco scored when Brianna Chambers Lee singled and moved to second on an error by Jag pitcher Avery Mytnik. Larissa Higgins made it 4-1 a batter later, driving in Chambers Lee on a single to right.

San Jose loaded the bases with two down in the fourth, but Nakano struck out a swinging Bella Caruso-Commisso to end the threat. Nakano set the Jaguars down in order in the sixth and then, after pinch hitter Isabella Giambruno opened the seventh with a single, West Valley got three straight putouts at second base to end the game.

Higgins had a great day at the plate and in the field, going 2-for-3 and registering a team-high five putouts at first, including a pair of unassisted outs in the three-up, three-down sixth.