Rachel Garcia retired every batter she faced Saturday. Her team still lost.
The Highland (Palmdale, Calif.) pitcher turned in a dominant performance against Camarillo in the championship game of the Thousand Oaks Tournament. She struck out the first 18 batters she faced and rung up 23 of a total 24 batters through eight innings.
Yet Highland and Camarillo were locked in a scoreless tie after seven innings, and California tiebreaker rules dictate that a runner start at second base to begin each extra half inning.
So when Garcia threw a wild pitch to the first batter in the top of the eighth, it allowed Camarillo’s Sara Stroud — who started the inning on second — to advance to third base. Highland catcher Elyssa Bramer tried to throw Stroud out at third, but her throw sailed into left field, allowing Stroud to score the go-ahead run.
Highland failed to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth to leave with a devastating 1-0 loss. Garcia didn’t allow a single baserunner, and since the wild pitch and error allowed a runner who already was on base to score, she still got credit for a perfect game.
?It?s pretty tough,” Garcia said after the game, via the Los Angeles Daily News. “All you can do is learn from it and move on to the next game.”
Fortunately, Garcia — who threw a two-hitter while striking out 18 in the semifinals earlier Saturday and recently committed to UCLA — has a bright future ahead of her. But this loss will be pretty tough to swallow.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@TheYuppieYinzer