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SBCC softball beats Bakersfield, avoids three game season sweep

JACK DAVIES, CHANNELS STAFF

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The City College softball team fought back to win 4-2 against Bakersfield and avoid a three game season sweep on Friday, April 7, at Pershing Park in the team’s last game against the Renegades.

In a pitcher-dominant game, the offenses were minimal. The Lady Vaqueros managed just three hits compared to the eight of the Renegades. Eight walks and a key error were the main sources of offense for City College.

“This win keeps our morale up,” head coach Paula Congleton said. “We are looking forward to playing the top teams and trying to spoil their playoff chances.”

The Vaqueros advanced to 17-13 overall and 10-7 in the Western State Conference with the win. Bakersfield dropped to 17-16.

“There were a couple of times when we had runners on and looked at strike three,” Congleton said. “That hurts us because we don’t produce enough runs.”

“It was enough today but in the big picture, when looking at our losses a lot of those have happened because we left runners on base and didn’t produce when we needed to.”

Bakersfield got the lackluster offensive game started with a leadoff triple by first baseman Kathryn Alderete. That triple was followed by a groundout by center fielder Alexis Rodriguez that plated the first run of the day. The Vaqueros countered to tie it up in the bottom of the first with a walk, stolen base, and two advancements from passed balls by left fielder Hope Ballard.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Vaqueros loaded the bases with no outs. Shortstop Monica Salas hit a sacrifice fly to score Sydney Townes from third base.

In the fifth inning, first baseman Madison McNamee walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. After the next two batters couldn’t make it on base, right fielder Maggie Jackson hit a triple down the left field line that drove in McNamee.

“We left the bat on our shoulders a few times today with runners on and we weren’t able to get hits,” said Congleton. “We went through a stretch this season where we would get two hits in a game. That’s not going to win many games.”

The Renegades brought the game back to within a run in the sixth inning when first baseman Alyssa Gonzales launched her third homerun of the season that left Bakersfield down just 3-2.

The Vaqueros threw the final punch in the bottom of the sixth when Ballard hit a ball to right field with two outs, scoring  a runner from second base. The 4-2 cushion was all that Calista Wendell needed to close out the game.

“Our defense and pitching were really the highlights of the day,” said Congleton. “Calista was big. She performed really well.”

Wendell finished all seven innings, giving up two runs on eight hits. She struck out one and walked none. Wendell improved to 6-4 with a 2.53 earned run average through 85 innings pitched on the season. She has the sixth best ERA in the conference.

On the season, City College is 17-13 overall and 10-7 in the conference. The Lady Vaqueros have struggled in games decided by two runs or less with a record of 3-6 in such games compared to 14-7 in games decided by three or more runs.

“We’ve thrown too many games away this season,” Congleton said. “When we play the way we should play, nobody’s gonna beat us.”

“The bad thing is we don’t always show up.”

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SBCC softball beats Bakersfield, avoids three game season sweep