Vaqueros softball rallies for extra-inning win against Cuesta College

Naveah+Freitas%2C+No.+5%2C+and+Sarah+Hammonds%2C+No.+21+chest+bump+in+celebration+after+winning+against+the+Cuesta+Cougars+9-8+on+Thursday%2C+March+31+at+Pershing+Park+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+The+win+brought+the+Vaqueros+back+to+.500+in+the+WSC+North.

Rodrigo Hernandez

Naveah Freitas, No. 5, and Sarah Hammonds, No. 21 chest bump in celebration after winning against the Cuesta Cougars 9-8 on Thursday, March 31 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. The win brought the Vaqueros back to .500 in the WSC North.

Eric Evelhoch, Sports Editor

After letting an early lead slip away, allowing six straight runs in the later innings to fall behind by three, City College softball could have wilted. Instead, the Vaqueros (9-22, 3-3) dusted themselves off and went to work, rallying to knock off visiting Cuesta College 9-8 in eight innings at Pershing Park on Thursday, March 31.

“We needed it, it was a good team win and everyone did something,” head coach Jasmyne Perry said. “They were in a good headspace today, they worked hard, were talking and had their energy up.”

Lauren Indermuehle came in from left field to pitch the final two innings, as well collecting the game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly that scored Alyssa Perez, bringing City College back to .500 in Western State Conference-North play.

“We all wanted to keep on fighting for each other,” Indermuehle said. “We responded really well with them scoring and then we fought back right away.”

It was a fitting cap for a day that saw the freshman from Danville do a little bit of everything. Indermuehle went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs in the batter’s box, holding the Cougars scoreless by allowing two hits with two strikeouts in the circle.

The Vaqueros got contributions from up and down the lineup as every player, save Perez, collected a hit — with Perez reaching twice, drawing walks. Natalie Depasquale collected a trio of RBIs, while Linnéa Sandhai went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Natalie Depasquale, No. 1, cheers on Alyssa Perez, No. 13 as she scores the winning run against Cuesta College on Thursday, March 31 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros ended the game at 9-8 with an extra inning.
Natalie Depasquale, No. 1, cheers on Alyssa Perez, No. 13 as she scores the winning run against Cuesta College on Thursday, March 31 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros ended the game at 9-8 with an extra inning.

Starting pitcher Sarah Hammonds threw a scrappy, worker-like five innings during which she allowed 8 hits, 5 runs (three earned) and stranded 4 Cuesta runners in scoring position.

“In past weeks we’ve had to battle back, which is hard for us, but I think we tackled them head-on today and kept our spirits up the whole time,” Hammonds said.

After falling behind 2-0 to start the game, City College immediately rallied to take the lead on RBI singles by Naveah Freitas and Paige Powell, then Hammonds reached on a fielder’s choice. The Vaqueros tacked on two more in the bottom of the second thanks to Indermuehle’s RBI double and Depasquale reaching on a fielder’s choice for a 5-2 edge.

Cuesta slowly clawed their way back by tacking on two runs in the fourth, tying the game at 5-5 in the fifth, then taking an 8-5 lead in the top of the sixth.

The Vaqueros responded immediately again, stringing together three straight one-out hits to load the bases before a chopper off the bat of Sandhai hit Mckinnzie Grossini as she ran to third for a runner’s interference. Indermuehle and Depasquale then came through with two-out RBI hits, knotting the score at 8-8 and – after a scoreless seventh – setting the table for extra innings.

“I think everybody is energized now and just taking the momentum we have into our next game so we can keep going strong,” Indermuehle said.

City College will take part in the Ventura Round Robin against Pasadena City College on Saturday, April 2 at Ventura College at 10 a.m. The next home game is Tuesday, April 5 against Oxnard College at 2:30 p.m.