ESCONDIDO Rancho Bernardo High pitcher Sara White is one freshman who can handle playoff pressure.
White demonstrated as much against Escondido in the section Division I softball playoffs Tuesday. With one out and the bases loaded in the ninth inning, she struck out the final two batters to secure a 3-2 victory in elimination-bracket play.
That culminated a crazy outing in which Escondido stranded 14 runners, had three thrown out at third base and two more at the plate. White had 12 strikeouts and survived 10 walks.
“I just kept telling myself, ‘I’ve done this before, and I can still do it,’?” White said. “So I just had to work through it. I got more comfortable as the game went on, and I knew that my teammates had my back. So I trusted everyone and myself.”
The win advanced the eighth-seeded Broncos (17-13) into play on Thursday at Sportsplex USA in Poway against Torrey Pines.
Junior Sam Gurley doubled on the first pitch of the ninth and scored the deciding run on a one-out single by Madison Jones, who reached third on a misplay.
“I was extremely nervous (heading to the plate) until I heard my teammates cheering for me, and that got me a lot more relaxed,” Gurley said. “My team is always behind me, and I love them.”
RB pulled even in the sixth on a run resulting from a dropped fly ball that would have been the third out. It was the third of four errors by the seventh-seeded Cougars (20-10).