Nakano, defense lift WVC past top-ranked San Mateo

Ashlie Nakano and the Viking D kept CSM off the scoreboard Tuesday
Ashlie Nakano and the Viking D kept CSM off the scoreboard Tuesday

Teams need to find a way to win when their bats aren't firing on all cylinders. West Valley did just that Tuesday in San Mateo, relying on pitchers Ashlie Nakano and Samantha Mader and a stingy defense that left nine Bulldogs on base.

The 2-1 win lifted the Vikings (21-4, 5-1 Coast) into a first place tie with the state # 1 Bulldogs (24-2, 5-1), ending CSM's CCCAA-best 24-game winning streak.

Andrea DeJesus gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when she walked, advanced to second on a Brianna Chambers Lee single and then stole home. An inning later, a Keithleen Gonzalez two-out single knocked in Alina Perez with what would prove to be the winning run.

West Valley would only get one more hit the rest of the way, but Nakano and the WVC defense did what they needed to do to keep CSM's high-powered offense off the scoreboard.

The Bulldogs mounted a comeback with a run in the third and had a runner on second with one out in the fourth, but an inning-ending double play that started with a liner back to Nakano ended the threat.

CSM had at least one runner in scoring position in every inning, most notably the fifth. With Emma Kinder at third and Ari Williams at first, the Bulldogs attempted a double steal. Shortstop DeJesus fired a strike to catcher Marissa Delgadillo that nabbed Kinder for the second out. Megan Barstad then popped out to DeJesus to end the inning.

The WVC defense owned the bottom of the seventh. Mader entered in the seventh and got Kinder to send a grounder back to the box for the first out. Lang singled and stole second, but back-to-back liners to Jasmine Mixco in center ended the game.

Mixco, Perez, Chambers Lee, KG Gonzalez and Gabriella Diotalevi all had singles for WVC. Nakano improved to 6-3 with the win, scattering seven hits and striking out four in six innings of work.

West Valley hosts Highway 17 rival Cabrillo (13-8, 2-3) Thursday (3/21) in a crucial Coast contest. First pitch is 3:00pm.