Sports

Palo Alto pitcher's no-hitter was just perfect this time

 

Bill Laskey had a career as a Major League Baseball pitcher that spanned 1982-88 with three teams, including two stints with the San Francisco Giants. He pitched in 159 games.

Laskey never threw a perfect game, even though he did come close once.

He was pitching in Single A ball for the Kansas City Royals after being drafted in the second round by the team in 1978.

"I had one going for 6 2/3 innings," Laskey recalled this week. "I had two outs in the top of the seventh and this guy, Razor Shines, dribbles one through for a base hit. I almost started crying."

While Laskey missed out so many years ago, he was part of one on Tuesday when his sophomore pitcher at Palo Alto High, Mackenzie Glassford, tossed a five-inning perfect game during an 11-0 nonleague win over visiting Gunderson.

"Fifteen up and 15 down," said Laskey. "No errors, five strikeouts. She threw only 47 pitches."

For Laskey, it was a first.

"I never threw one," he said. "Neither did my pitching coach, Justine (Roscoe). I had never even seen one."

But, now he has.

"She (Glassford) was spotting the ball well," Laskey explained. "She's been so consistent

this year. She's a control pitcher."

The only close call came in the top of the fifth after Laskey had substituted Maddy Atwater in center field for defensive purposes.

"As soon as I did that, sure enough, they hit a laser to center field," said Laskey.

"Fortunately, Maddy just stuck her glove up and caught it. There's always an outstanding play like that in a perfect game or no-hitter."

Glassford improved to 14-3 with the victory and lowered her earned run average to a stingy 0.92. She also helped herself at the plate with two hits and three RBI. Senior Kabria Dame and freshman Sophie Frick each drove in a pair of runs with senior Autumn Macareno and Dame also having two hits.

Glassford and her teammates didn't have much time to celebrate, as they were back on field Wednesday for the second of three games this week. The Vikings (14-8) hosted Mills in a nonleague game and Laskey gave Glassford a rest, instead throwing a pair of freshmen who gave up a combined 12 earned runs in a 15-7 setback.

Junior Maddie Martinson was Paly's individual standout with three hits and two RBI. She's now batting a team-leading .528 with a team-high 38 hits. Mackenzie Glassford is hitting .444 with a team-high 28 RBI plus 32 hits while her sister, senior Casey, ranks No. 3 with a .403 average, 25 hits and 20 RBI.

Palo Alto will host Monta Vista in a SCVAL El Camino Division game on Friday at 4 p.m.

In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), Pinewood continues to lead the way with a young roster that features five members of its basketball team. One of those players is sophomore Aisley Njissang, a transfer from Castro Valley who has become the anchor of the pitching staff.

On Wednesday, Njissang registered a season-high 14 strikeouts and limited visiting Notre-Dame San Jose to just three hits in a 12-2 victory.

Njissang, who has 48 strikeouts in her past four games (all victories), received plenty of support from catcher Bailey Heit, who had a home run and double and drove in four runs.

Mikaela Topper, another basketball player, added two hits and two RBI as the Panthers won their sixth straight and improved to 5-1 in league (8-9 overall) heading into an important home game Friday against third-place Castilleja at 4 p.m.

The Panthers got off to a rough 1-8 start while waiting for basketball to end. Njissang also missed the first four games due to her transfer. It took a while for head coach Michele Isaac to get her lineup set, but Pinewood now has won seven of its past eight and taken control of the division.

On Tuesday, Njissang twirled a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and drove in a pair of runs with two hits in a 4-2 win over host Harker. Alia Rubaie and Heit had key hits and both were solid defensively.

Meanwhile, Castilleja has slipped from a tie for first to third place in the WBAL Foothill Division after suffering back-to-back losses this week -- to second-place King's Acadmy on Monday and Mercy-Burlingame on Tuesday, 7-5.

Kate Wang had three hits and drove in three runs for Castilleja, but the effort went for naught as the Gators fell to 5-3 in league (5-17 overall).

In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-4 nonleague victory over visiting Monta Vista on Monday. The Titans (8-9-1) were able to score a couple of runs early but still trailed by 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth.

With two outs, the Titans mounted a big comeback rally. Natalie Oda singled to right and Katie Garvey hit to left, with a dropped ball advancing Oda to second. Emma Wager then singled to right, scoring Oda and leaving Garvey on third. Iris Chin kept the rally going with another single to left, scoring Garvey and tying the game. Finally, Anna Tevanian hit a line drive to left to score Wager from second with the winning run.

In the PAL Ocean Division, Menlo-Atherton returned from spring break and played error-free ball in a 3-0 victory over visiting Jefferson on Tuesday. Emily Katz had three hits, including a double, and picked up the pitching win with six strikeouts while limiting the visitors to just three hits. Catcher Sarah Tiemann had two hits, including a triple, for the Bears (4-4 (10-11).

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Curtis Mayfield
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 1, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Nice story on Laskey. Not too bad on Glassford, either.


Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm

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