BARSTOW • The Barstow High School softball team kept itself atop the Desert Sky League standings with a one-sided win on Wednesday.
The Aztecs beat Granite Hills 13-1 in five innings during a game that was shortened by the mercy rule. Barstow snapped a two-game skid, that included its first DSL loss of the season, with the win. The Aztecs were close in each loss. Barstow is now tied for first place in the DSL with Silverado, the only team to beat the Aztecs, at 4-1. Burroughs is sitting just behind at 3-1 with a week before its next game.
Taylor Purdy powered Barstow's offense in the victory. She started slow lining out to short stop during her first at bat. Purdy picked it up from there going three for four at the plate including two home runs and a triple that brought home six RBIs. Her second home run brought in three runs and secured the runs necessary to end the game early.
"Their lead off hitter was just hitting the ball hard," Granite Hills coach Carolyn Ruhm said. "She had a couple home runs and a triple. She had enough offense to beat us by herself today."
Barstow coach Richard Johannsen said the coaching staff has been pushing Purdy to get more from her hitting.
"We've been getting on her about not hitting the ball hard like she's supposed to because we know what she's capable of," Johannsen said. "She's the best player in the High Desert."
Purdy wasn't the only player putting the ball in play for the Aztecs on Wednesday. Aleesha Rodriguez hit the first of Barstow three home runs, a two-run home run, in the second inning just before Purdy's double. Barstow ended the day with 16 hits. Every player that took an at bat got a hit except pitcher Hannah Ulibarri, but Ulibarri brought home a run with a shot between first and second base before being thrown out at first.
Where Ulibarri shined was on the mound where she pitched yet another complete game while allowing only one run and five hits. She had four strike outs and two walks in the game.
"Hannah has been good all year," Johannsen said. "Except the one game against Sultana she's only been giving up five or six hits a game. I'd just like to see her get ahead in the count a little better, but you can't complain much when you win 13-1."
Ulibarri has achieved that success while throwing to three different catchers. Barstow lost 2010 All-DSL First Team catcher Tessa Saenz to a knee injury a month ago. Johannsen said he has been trying different players at the position since her injury. Miranda Peralta and Nicole Mathews have shown strengths at the position. Mathews caught during Wednesday's game and was able to catch two base runners trying to steal second base.
"I played catcher before high school," Mathews said. "It was like from when I was 12 to 15 in Reno, Nevada. When I got to high school we had a good catcher so I got moved to infield and outfield. I knew I had an arm, but I wasn't expecting to throw two runners out or anything. It's really fun and I hope I'm helpful to the team."
Granite Hills 010 00 — 1 5 2
Barstow 136 03 — 13 16 0
Corona, Hunley (4) and Fessenden; Ulibarri and Mathews. WP — Ulibarri. LP — Corona. 2B — Sherman (G). 3B — Purdy (B). HR — Purdy 2, Rodriguez (B).