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Casa girls hammer Montgomery, 10-1

Casa Grande's Cierra Perez slides home for a run during Casa's 10-1 win over Montgomery.

RICH LANGDON/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER
Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.

Without much fanfare, the Casa Grande Lady Gauchos are making noise in their first season in the North Bay League. The Gauchos remained only one game out of first place by blasting visiting Montgomery, 10-1, on Thursday behind a strong five-hit pitching performance by senior Courtney Ludlow.

Ludlow might have posted even better numbers, but an infield fly fell harmlessly to the ground to put runners in scoring position in the first inning. Ludlow steadied the ship, and allowed only one run to score in the inning on a ball that snuck through the infield, but the Vikings were shut down the rest of the way.

It was the second consecutive double digit outburst by Casa as the Gauchos (4-2 in league) now trail co-leaders Rancho Cotate and Maria Carillo by one game in the loss column.

Ludlow struck out eight batters, and sailed along until the top of the seventh inning when a single by Jessica Valencia and two walks loaded the bases with only one out. The following two Vikings struck out, and the threat ended quickly.

The hardest hit ball of the afternoon by the Lady Vikings came in the top of the fifth inning when shortstop Hayley Hermann laced a line drive that was ticketed for left field, but found the glove of the leaping Nadell at third base.

Offensively, the Lady Gauchos put continuous pressure on Montgomery by blasting 15 hits to reach base in every inning against Viking starter Ashley Cuccaro.

The chief tormentor was sophomore Nadell, who had a solid day at the plate with four hits, including a towering home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the first. Nadell scored three runs and drove in four more with two singles and a double.

Every player in the starting lineup for coach Joanna Martin finished with at least one hit. Lludlow, Ciera Perez and Heather Zeeb all punched out two hits for the Gauchos. Ludlow hit the ball hard in all four appearances at the plate, and finished with a pair of RBIs.

The biggest inning for Casa Grande came in its final at bat in the bottom of the sixth inning when it plated four runs on five hits. Ludlow, Nadell and Savanah Stafford all had RBI's in the frame.

Haley Komrij finished with three hits for the Lady Vikings. Komrij is a proven threat at the plate, as she went into the game hitting .344.

Casa Grande will continue to battle for a spot in the North Coast Section softball playoffs as it opens the second round of NBL play by hosting co-leader Maria Carillo on Tuesday afternoon. The Gauchos dropped a 7-2 decision to the Pumas in the league season opener in Santa Rosa.

Montgomery has fallen on hard times since finishing second in the NBL in 2010. The Lady Vikings (1-5) will attempt to regroup on Tuesday afternoon when they travel across town to battle rival Cardinal Newman.

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