POWAY From her first varsity start this year, Poway High pitcher Alayna Brenman has sensed an abundance of moral backing from her teammates.
The Titans have also helped the sophomore right-hander with solid defense and timely hitting.
It was all evident as Brenman pitched a three-hit shutout to propel top-seeded Poway into the Division I softball final with a 2-0 victory over Grossmont at Sportsplex USA on Thursday.
“Everyone has been so welcoming,” said Brenman, who recorded just one strikeout with one walk in improving her record to 17-2. “It’s been exciting, and it’s such a confidence booster. I was a little nervous (before this game). But I knew that my teammates had my back. They always do.”
Senior Ashley Andruski delivered a two-out RBI single in the first to stake the Titans (27-4) to the lead and then figured in 10 outs from her third-base position.
“I love it. It’s my favorite position,” said Andruski, a third-year varsity member. “We have tremendous defense and back up our pitchers a lot. That really helps. It’s teamwork.”
The Titans will make their first finals appearance since claiming the 2002 crown on Saturday at UCSD in a rematch against Grossmont.
“I’m glad that we finally got there,” Titans coach Jim Bennet said. “We knocked on the door for so many years.”
Poway scored one more run than senior pitcher Rachel Stalford allowed in three previous playoff games combined for the No.?6 Foothillers (21-10-1).
The Titans added their second score in the fourth when Katherine Duran hit a leadoff double and eventually scored on Chase Small’s second hit of the game.
“We’re going strong,” Andruski said. “Now we’re going for the (last) win.”