PLEASANTON—It took a little while for the Harper softball team to get its offense going Friday night.
The way sophomore Callie Koenig was pitching, it didn’t matter.
Koenig limited Charlotte to two hits, finishing with 11 strikeouts and no walks in the Lady Horns’ 10-0 regional quarterfinal win at the Pleasanton ISD Eagle Complex.
“Their coach had a good game plan for our hitters, and their pitcher executed it,” Trojanettes coach Chris Raimondi said. “[Koenig] put the ball where she had to, and we really struggled putting the ball in play. It was tough for our hitters today.”
Koenig retired 12 consecutive batters as Harper clung to a 2-0 edge. Then, the backbone of the team stepped in.
Senior captains Mercy Garcia and Logan Menzies, both four-year letter winners, ignited a five-run fifth that broke open the game.
Garcia led off with a single, and two batters later Menzies launched a three-run homer to push the Lady Horns advantage to 5-0.
“She’s not looking to hit them out, she’s just looking to drive the ball,” Harper coach Scott Vasquez said of Menzies, who finished 3 for 4 with a team-high four RBIs. “Logan’s a good leader. She gets things started…This year’s team is kind of built around [Menzies and Garcia], and they’re great leaders.”
Koenig and Kaylee Hirl also had RBI hits in the frame. Koenig was 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
Leading 8-0, Koenig ended the game in the sixth inning with a two-run double to center field. The hit scored Kaycee Duncan and Gracie Green, who reached base on an RBI double. Green went 3 for 3 on the night.
Charlotte never truly threatened. Jessalyn Sanchez led off the second with a double but was left stranded. The Trojanettes did not reach third base in the game. Rhianna Bautista had the team’s other hit, a single in the sixth inning.
Charlotte wrapped up the season 18-11-1 after winning the District 30-2A championship. The Trojanettes’ trip to the third round was the team’s deepest playoff run since 2012.
“It’s definitely the biggest improvement I’ve ever seen of any team I’ve coached since Little League,” Raimondi said. “I’ve never seen a team improve as much as these guys did…Once we got into district play, they were rolling and I saw how good they could be. And anybody that would listen to me, I told them they were a three-round deep playoff team. A lot of people didn’t believe me, but we got here.”
And Charlotte will lose only three seniors. Vasquez was highly complimentary of the Trojanettes, whom he said would be a “power” in the near future.
Raimondi hopes so as well.
“Today we ran into a good, experienced softball team,” he said. “And that’s experience that we need. Hopefully in the next couple of years we’ll be pushing the door the way they are.”