Sophia Goldberg sports editor
After no score for four innings, the Normans scored first, with a run-batted-in (RBI) by catcher Alex Rosen and two RBIs by designated hitter Wesley Wu in the bottom of the fourth inning. The lead extended to 4-0 after an RBI by right fielder and relief pitcher Donovan Chavez in the bottom of the fifth.
“In our meeting before my at-bat in the bottom of the fourth, we just talked about staying in the zone and focusing up the middle. I just had to put the ball in play and that was the goal,” Rosen said. “[Coach Riesenberg] just gave some words to push us to work harder and score these runs. We don’t always have such an opportune chance to score and we really capitalized on it.”
After some back and forth between the Cardinals and the Normans through the sixth and seventh innings, the Normans were able to pull out a win by continuing to execute plays and score runs.
“Every team in our league is capable of scoring and hitting the ball, so we knew that four runs weren’t enough,” second baseman Mason Bergher said. “In order for us to be successful, we had to execute our plays and keep scoring, because if we let teams stay in the game for too long, they are bound to have a couple big innings that would ultimately lead to a comeback.”
After defeating Lawndale, the Normans will face a two-game series against Culver City. The winner of the series will finish third in Ocean League and will automatically qualify for CIF playoffs.
“We have to have two more good practices with a lot of energy. We also have to be engaged in every play in order to know what needs to be done to get the win,” Bergher said. “We all know that we need to sweep Culver to make the playoffs, and I know that not only can we do that, but we can go a long way in playoffs. It all starts with competitiveness, energy and engagement.”
Rosen agrees with Bergher, citing the next couple of practices as vital to success next week and into playoffs.
“We just need to keep working hard and believing in ourselves. We came so close last year to playoffs and we made it the year before, so certain people [on the team] know what it tastes like to play in those games and be in this situation,” Rosen said. “It all comes down to how hard we work. Our playoff hope is really in our own hands and we just have to play solid defense and score a few runs.”
Their next game is against Culver City at Culver City High School on Tuesday, May 8, followed by the last game of the regular season at La Cienega Park on Thursday, May 10.