Lowell faces tough task

It could be safe to assume that after one game the Lowell softball team has seen enough of Oakland Tech pitcher Marika Zumbro.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they are going to be facing her again real soon.

Zumbro pitched a three-hitter, struck out 16 and went 3-for-3 to lead Oakland Tech to a 5-1 victory over Lowell at Laney College in the first game of the Transbay Series.

The Cardinals (18-3) will look to even the best-of-three series, which pits the winners of the Oakland and San Francisco sections, Tuesday at Lang Field.

Tech (14-1) got on the scoreboard early against Lowell starter Samia Zuber, putting up three runs in the bottom of the first. Devina Brown led off the inning with a double, and Malia Tabayas-Kim followed by reaching on an error to score Brown. The next batter, Zumbro, singled, and Makayla West came up and added an RBI single to score Tabayas-Kim. Zumbro finished off the three-run rally by scoring on a wild pitch.

The three runs would be more than enough for Zumbro, who struck out six of the first eight batters she faced. She struck out every Lowell batter at least once.

“I think we came into the game a little mentally intimidated by the Oakland Tech pitcher,” Lowell catcher Sati Houston said. “We’re not used to seeing that kind of speed from a pitcher, so I think that got into our heads a little bit.”

Tech added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, starting with Zumbro’s leadoff triple and Rajonnie Lane’s RBI groundout. After Lane, West singled, stole second and third and came home on a wild pitch to give Tech a 5-0 lead.

Lowell’s lone run came in the top of the sixth, when Rubye Chu knocked in Anny Nguyen with an RBI single.

“All year, we’ve been hitting the ball real well, but today we just couldn’tget around on her pitches,” Lowell coach Sascha Ray said. “This game is all about adjustments, so we have to come back on Tuesday ready to play and string together some hits.”

Oakland Tech 5, Lowell 1</p>

TRANSBAY SERIES

LOWELL (18-3) VS. OAKLAND TECH (14-1) (Best-of-three)

GAME 1: Oakland Tech 5, Lowell 1

GAME 2: Tuesday at Lang Field, 3:30 p.m.

GAME 3: Thursday at Laney Field (Oakland), 3:30 p.m.

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