EAST LAKE — Even without all-state pitcher Alyssa Bache — who is nursing a sore throwing shoulder — East Lake was able to cruise to a 15-0 victory over Northeast in five innings Tuesday night.
The Eagles executed well defensively and supported Caitlyn Smith, who was up to the task, tossing a superb two-hit shutout in four innings, retiring 12 and striking out four with no walks.
“I had to back up Alyssa,” Smith said. “I have confidence in myself, and my family and team believe in me.”
The Eagles made quick work on offense, scoring two runs in the first inning and exploding in the second.
With two on and two out, Marisa Palumbo lined a ball to deep centerfield for a two-run double. The Eagles would cross home plate seven times in the second inning.
“We didn’t want to be cocky coming into this game and overlook (Northeast),” Palumbo said, who finished 3-for-3 with three doubles. “We have good bats and good defense so we put it to work tonight.”
East Lake never let up, scoring twice in the third and four more times in the fourth thanks to a two-run double by Nicole Szelest.
“I saw a lot of good things, and as long as we can carry that through we’ll be in very good shape,” East Lake coach Mike Estes said.
Gabby Orito pitched in relief at the top of the fifth inning, striking out one.
“We’re going to need Alyssa back at some point, and hopefully she’ll be good to go Friday,” Estes said. “If not, Caitlin pitched a great game tonight and we’ll go with Caitlin.”