By John Murphy
Hillsdale High’s softball team got a little help from its Alameda de las Pulgas neighbor Carlmont to at least temporarily take control of the PAL-Bay softball race.
The Scots rallied to defeat Half Moon Bay 4-2 on Thursday to put Hillsdale one game up in the loss column ahead of the Cougars and Carlmont in the league race.
“We just didn’t freak out (after falling behind) and just kept doing what we do, which is swinging the bats and hitting the ball,” said Carlmont pitcher Mailey McLemore. “We were getting key hits in key situations.”
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Carlmont scored three times on RBI singles by McLemore, Michaela Spielman and Kate Berce.
Half Moon Bay put the potential tying run on first base in the seventh inning, but McLemore, the daughter of former San Francisco 49er Dana McLemore, retired the next three batters.
“We dug ourselves a hole, but we bounced back,” said Carlmont coach Jim Liggett who is in his final season as the Scots’ mentor and won his 1000th game earlier this season. “We played well – we got two double plays which is something you don’t see too often in high school softball, especially 6-4-3 or 4-6-3 double plays.”
Half Moon Bay took a two-run lead in the first inning on Riley Donovan’s two-run single to left field.
The Cougars (18-4, 9-3) have lost three consecutive games and are now looking up at Hillsdale (16-7, 9-2) in the standings) and are even with Carlmont (21-3, 9-3).
“We’re getting better,” Half Moon Bay coach Claire Rietmann-Grout said of her team’s recent struggles. “We’re showing energy and getting better at-bats. They were just getting the clutch hits and we weren’t.”
McLemore (7-0) struck out one and allowed four hits and seems fully recovered from a quadriceps injury that kept her out two weeks.