San Pedro High Softball Sweeps PV By The Power Of The Bri's

PALOS VERDES ESTATES - Hitting a game-winning home run is sometimes improbable.

Hitting two game-winning home runs in back-to-back games in one day, is mathematically impossible.

San Pedro High softball sophomore INF/P Briana Velazquez would make both a reality on Tuesday in a doubleheader sweep of host Palos Verdes as her game-winning solo home run to leadoff the top of the eighth inning powered San Pedro to a 5-4 victory in the first game, then she struck again with a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning for the Pirates to prevail 6-5 in the second game.

Those dramatic bombs by Velazquez along with a combined 6-of-7 hitting performance in both games from fellow sophomore first baseman Brianna Talamantes (both Bri's are cousins by the way), would provide the Pirates (9-7 overall) two huge intersectional victories over the Sea Kings.

In the first game, San Pedro jumped to an early 3-0 lead on Talamantes' RBI-double, and back-to-back RBI-groundouts from Velazquez and senior catcher Anessa Quiroz, then went up 4-1 in the fourth inning on an RBI-bunt infield single from sophomore center fielder Sofia Gomez before Palos Verdes (5-7) would score three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off senior pitcher Quincy Greenwood to knot the score at 4-4.

It remained tied until Velazquez belted a 2-and-0 pitch deep over the left field fence in the top of the eighth inning. Greenwood, who struck out four in a complete game victory, would hold off the Sea Kings by leaving one runner on before a game-ending fly out was caught by senior left fielder Kierah Murillo.

Both teams quickly traded runs in the first inning to begin the second game, but then a throwing error in the bottom of the third allowed freshmen Kirstin Sanchez and Lexi Gallardo to score, giving San Pedro a 3-1 lead. After the Sea Kings scored a run in the top of the fourth, Talamantes crushed a first-pitch home run to leadoff the bottom of the fifth inning, which put the Pirates ahead 4-2.

Palos Verdes would load the bases with nobody out and eventually score three runs off Velazquez in the top of the sixth to go up 5-4, but to the defending CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 champion's credit, they didn't stay down long as that old Pirate softball clutch magic would not wear off. 

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Quiroz (2-for-3 in Game 2) drilled a single, then Talamantes got a hold of the next pitch, but it wasn't deep enough to straight away center field and it was caught for the second out.

In the case of San Pedro, there was no worries when Velazquez stepped into the batter's box.

On the very first pitch, Velazquez drilled the fastball for a laser shot over the right-center field wall to give the Pirates their second of two games against Palos Verdes to complete the unexpected sweep over a Sea Kings team that just two weeks prior won via a walk-off home run on their home field to down Marine League rival Banning in a nine-inning war.

Talamantes went 3-for-3 with two doubles, run scored and an RBI in the first game, then went 3-for-4 with a home run, another double, an RBI and a run scored in the second game. Senior Taiya Reyna made fine defensive plays in center field in Game 1, and at shortstop in Game 2. The outfield of Reyna, Murillo, Gomez and sophomore Priscilla Andrade made some clutch catches against the solid contact hitters of Palos Verdes.

Velazquez struck out six while scattering five earned runs on eight hits for the complete game victory in the second game for San Pedro, who next plays at Washington Prep in a Marine League game on Thursday.

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