Chargers prevail in Castagnola-Neilsen-Robbins duel

Andria Castagnola out-dueled Rebecca Neilsen-Robbins as the Chargers softball team edged the Dons 2-0 on Tuesday at Santa Barbara High.

Castagnola allowed just one Santa Barbara player to reach third base,  surrendering just two hits and a walk.

“She was pretty quick,” Santa Barbara head coach Becky Penrose said. “We just couldn’t get our bats around.”

Despite being neutralized by Castagnola, the Round Table Softball Player of the Year, Penrose expressed how proud she is of her team’s play as of late, having won its previous two league games coming in to Tuesday. It had been at least eight years before that since the program had a conference victory.

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“Dos Pueblos is a tough team, and for us to be able to play them within two, I’m proud of the improvements that we’ve made to be able to hang in there with them,” Penrose said.

Dos Pueblos coach Donn Roberts had similar thoughts on the Dons’ performance.

“Big props to Santa Barbara – that’s the best I think I’ve ever seen them play,” Roberts said.

Neilsen-Robbins battled with Castagnola through five frames, but the Chargers were finally able to come through in the sixth.

Amber Altavilla walked and stole second to lead off the inning. After failing to get down a sacrifice bunt, shortstop Shelli Sibbert launched a ball over the right fielder’s head, the only hit Neilsen-Robbins would allow.

Altavilla and the relay throw home arrived at the plate at the same time, but Dons catcher Shiela Lopez couldn’t handle the ball, allowing it to squirt away as Altavilla collided with her.

Sibbert was able to race home behind Altavilla while the Dons retrieved the ball.

The two runs were more than enough for Castagnola, who retired six of the seven batters she faced to close out the game.

The two teams will face each other again on Thursday at Dos Pueblos.

DOS PUEBLOS 2, SANTA BARBARA 0

Dos Pueblos 000 002 0 – 2 1 0

Santa Barbara 000 000 0  -0 2 1

SB – Neilsen-Robbins, and Lopez. DP – Castagnola and Martony. 2B – SB Hunter. 3B – DP Sibbert

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