Softball squad unable to find momentum
Comet third baseman Madisen William misses a catch as Vikings center fielder Isabell Vergara slides into third base during CCC’s game against Diablo Valley College on Feb. 18. The Comets fell in both games of the doubleheader, 4-0 and 11-6. George Morin / The Advocate
PLEASANT HILL - The Comets' softball team (1-4-1 overall) struggled in its doubleheader against the Diablo Valley College Vikings (6-4 overall) Feb. 18, losing the first game 4-0 and the second 11-6 at the DVC softball field.
The Comets managed only a single hit in their first game against the Vikings, a double by center fielder Jasmyne Brice. Viking pitcher Carrie Lee faced 23 batters, striking out 11 of them. In contrast, the Comets' pitcher Caitlyn Bal faced 26 batters and allowed eight hits while only managing to strike out three Vikings.
"Carrie was definitely the best pitcher the girls have faced all season," Contra Costa College assistant coach Dwayne Bal said.
Caitlyn Bal started the second game against DVC, while the Vikings opted to switch Lee for Sarah Alford, who was the Vikings' first baseman during the first game against the Comets.
The second game showed that the Vikings are a much more dynamic team than the Comets. Taking what they learned from their first game, the Vikings established an early lead.
The Vikings used a series of quick bunts to place shortstop Amber Golini and right fielder Sarah Martin on base. The multiple bunts capitalized on Bal's inability to field bunts quickly. This strategy worked perfectly for the Vikings. Third baseman Sara Cundy's first at bat in the second game was a home run over the left field fence, driving Golini and Martin home as well.
DVC scored once more, when catcher Victoria Frazer hit a double to bring Alford home.
The Comets' second inning was a quick three up, three down inning. Comets' third baseman Madisen William struck out swinging, while left fielder Ciarra Streater and right fielder Brandie Newton made contact with the ball, but failed to make it on base.
The Vikings' second inning was another multi-run inning. The Vikings' first five batters in the inning made it on base. Golini was hit by a wild pitch, and Lee got to first by way of balls. Three of those five would make it home, bringing the score at the end of the second to 7-0.
Liliana Reyes, who was playing as the Comets' shortstop due to Sharrell Duncan being unable to play because of an injury, had an impressive day on the diamond, despite the pit the Comets found themselves in. At the top of the third, she was the first Comet to score in the doubleheader.
Reyes hit a single and stole her way to second base, which allowed for the Comets' catcher Kaitlyn Oshiro to drive her in with a double hit far into center field.
The bottom of the third was a lackluster inning for the Vikings. Reyes at shortstop managed to stop any play hit into her vicinity. Comets' center fielder Elvira Figueroa caught a high fly hit by Vikings' center fielder Isabell Vergara. Figueroa quickly fed the ball to Comets' second baseman Sinoti Iosua, throwing out the Vikings' pinch hitter Marshale Baisden, and ending the inning.
A single hit by Iosua at the top of the fourth would turn into the Comets' second run earned that day. A single hit by Streater would drive Iosua home, when the Vikings' third baseman missed the ball, allowing Iosua to advance on an error.
The Vikings earned their last runs of the day in the bottom of the fourth. The Comets' pulled Bal from the mound, in favor of pitcher Shannon Fowler. An error by William at third base allowed for Lee and Cundy to make it home again, while a double hit by Frazer, and another single by Vikings' first baseman Riane Randall, would turn into the runs that brought the score to 11-2 at the bottom of the fourth.
"It wasn't a good day for me," William said. "I would make one bad play, and it would just trickle down from there."
Softball coach Karolyn Gubbine said, "The team has a hard time relaxing. We let pressure get to us and have a hard time recovering."
The Comets got their act together in the top of the fifth. Reyes and Oshiro started the inning off by being promptly thrown out at first. Then, Alford walked her only batter that day. With Brice and Figueroa on base after a single hit by Figueroa, Iosua made contact with the ball multiple times at the plate, before sending a line drive out to right field, allowing Figueroa and Brice to score, bringing the score to 11-4.
Oshiro and Reyes would both score in the top of the seventh, thanks to solid hits by Brice and Iosua, respectively. Despite the two runs, the Comets would finish the game behind 11-6.
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