CLOVERDALE -- Paige Gutierrez had pitched Cloverdale to three straight victories, all shutouts, entering Tuesday's West Central Conference softball game with Monrovia. From the first batter, it was clear she didn't have her good stuff.
The Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1 WCC) roughed up Gutierrez for three runs in the first inning and went on to a 6-0 victory on the Clovers' field.
Cloverdale coach Brian Knapp replaced Gutierrez to start the second inning with junior Kat Raisor, who provided six solid innings of relief. She allowed three runs, two earned, and seven hits.
Monrovia had scored all the runs it needed against Gutierrez. Freshman pitcher Erica Tharp shut out the Clovers (3-4, 1-3 WCC) on four hits. She struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
"Paige had 30-something strikeouts in the past three games and held Monrovia to three hits, struck out 13 and didn't have a walk yesterday (in a 6-0 win Monday)," Knapp said. "She didn't pitch well today (Tuesday) in the cold and they (Monrovia) got on her. I've been coaching her in travel ball since she was 11 and anytime it's cold, she's off."
The temperature was hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit when the game began at 5 p.m. and a strong wind made it seem much colder.
Cloverdale's bats were cold, too against Tharp, who is 3-1 and pitched her second shutout of the season.
"We had flat bats," Knapp said.
The Clovers four singles were from Jessica Winders in the second, back-to-back by Gutierrez and Kara Knapp in the fourth and Heather Goss in the seventh. Winders and Gutierrez were left stranded at third by Tharp, who had strikeouts at critical times.
"She's (Tharp) a good pitcher, you have to give it to her," Knapp said. "She threw extremely well."
Gutierrez walked Sara Thom to open the game and freshman Drue Kluemper followed with a single to left. Brooke Durham drove in the Bulldogs' first run with a sharp single to right and freshman Taylor Whitaker drove in two with a single to center for a 3-0 lead.
On Monday, the Clovers defeated Monrovia 6-0 on the road.
Paige Gutierrez pitched a complete game, allowing three hits, while striking out 13 and giving up no walks. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a solo home run.
Knapp noted that Bradanne Toney, Brianna Hoff, Heather Goss, Jess Winders, Maddie Smith and Kat Raisor contributed to the win.
Monrovia 310 100 1 -- 6 11 2
Cloverdale 000 000 0 -- 0 4 4
Erica Tharp and Taylor Whitaker; Paige Gutierrez, Kat Raisor (2) and Heather Goss.
WP: Tharp. LP: Gutierrez
Singles: Monrovia -- Drue Kluemper 3, Brooke Durham 3, Taylor Jelley 3, Whitaker, Brittney Sichting; Cloverdale -- Jessica Winders 1, Gutierrez 1, Kara Knapp 1, Heather Goss 1.
RBI: Monrovia -- Whitaker 2, Durham 2, Tharp 1.