Look up “moral victory” in the dictionary, and you might find a description of the Berkeley High softball team’s hard-fought, 1-0 defeat at the hands of first-place Foothill on Tuesday afternoon.
The ’Jackets, who were blanked by the Falcons, 8-0, in their first meeting on April 13, stepped up their defense in a big way at James Kenney Park, committing just one error on the afternoon. After keeping the league co-leaders scoreless through three innings, BHS pitcher Lilli Bermeo finally allowed a run in the fourth, as Lindsey Jones singled to right to produce the game’s only RBI.
“We’re not really disappointed. We did pretty well against them – that’s proof right there we’re a good team,” BHS shortstop Jasmine Jew said. “(We’re) trying our hardest, what more can you ask for? I’d get angry if I thought this team wasn’t doing their best.”
Empty basepaths spelled doom once again for the ’Jackets, who were limited to two total runners – on basehits from Alice Brugger and Bermeo. The result marked the second straight game in which Berkeley High has lost by a single run. After the game, Foothill coach Ray Alsdorf admitted his squad had underestimated BHS, and commended the ’Jackets for their stingy defense.
“What a good ball game,” the coach said. “Berkeley played very well defensively. It was a fine effort against us.”
“At the end of the game, the Foothill coach came up and said what a great team we had,” BHS coach Elena Bermeo added. “That was a huge compliment. It was the closest we’ve ever played them. The story of this season is (lack of) hits.”
Lilli Bermeo went the distance in the seven-inning showdown, inheriting yet another loss not reflected in her brilliant ERA. With regular starting catcher Alice Brugger playing third base, Emily Friedman took over behind the plate, calling an almost perfect game and gunning down all three would-be Foothill base thieves at second.
“(Emily) stepped up today,” Elena Bermeo said about her usual third-baseman. “She has a strong arm, but bad knees. Last time (we played Foothill) they got around the bases a lot more.”
With just two games remaining in the 2000 campaign, Berkeley High hopes to close out the season with at least one more league win – against either San Ramon Valley today, or California High on Thursday. Today’s opponent dealt Berkeley its worst loss of the season – a 10-0 shutout – on opening day, giving Bermeo’s girls special motivation to bring their best game to the field.
“That was our worst loss of the season, I’m really looking forward to playing them again,” the BHS coach said. “We’ve been losing 1-0 the past two games – we’re definitely due.”
Lilli Bermeo is once again slated to start for Berkeley High in today’s matchup, beginning at 3:45 p.m. at the Wolves’ home field in San Ramon.