West Hills wins first game while Taft College was victorious in second game
Taft College sprayed hits all over the park at West Hills College last Thursday, but managed to come away with just one win in a Central Valley Conference softball doubleheader.
It was nearly a carbon copy of the doubleheader split days earlier when the Cougars had 28 hits but left 16 runners on base and committed eight errors that led to five unearned runs.
This time the Cougars punched 33 hits – including three homers, a triple and four doubles – but stranded 15 runners and made another eight errors that led to seven unearned runs.
West Hills won the first game, 8-6, while the Cougars had 18 hits in a 9-4 victory in the second.
“Our defense is just letting us down,” said head coach Stefanie Walsh. “We have to play defense solidly all the way through. When we play defense terribly, it costs us dearly every time.”
She’s delighted with her young team’s plate performance.
“Our bats are starting to wake up, and if we can play better defense behind that we’ll be hard to beat,” she said. “Unfortunately, right new we aren’t doing that. We are giving away games with our poor defense.”
Every starting player hit safely in the first game and eight of the nine in the second game.
Freshmen infielders Kelcey Viliamu and Courtney Nyetrae continue their torrid pace.
Third baseman Viliamu went 5-for-8 with two homeruns – including a grand slam in the second game – and a double to drive in six runs.
First baseman Nyetrae was 6-for-8 with a homer and double to drive in three runs.
Leadoff batter Baylee Day did her job.
She was 5-for-9 with an RBI.
Pitcher Allie Carrigan, who worked all 14 innings in the circle, was 4-for-8 with a double and three RBIs and Amber Si’u went 4-for-7.
Catcher Monica Lovato had a double and two singles, and Megan Smith three singles.
Carrigan gave up just five earned runs on the day while striking out 12 and walking none.
In the first game, the Cougars took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth when the Falcons pushed over six runs on six hits (all singles) and three errors. Only one of the runs was earned.
Up to that point, Carrigan had allowed just two hits.
The Cougars broke the second game open with a five-run fourth.
With two out and Carrigan aboard on a leadoff single, Puente, Day, and Si’u singled to break a 1-1 tie before Viliamu slugged her grand slam.
Walsh said her goal for this week is to cut down on the miscues.
“This is a big week for us,” she said. “I’m hoping we’ll turn it around defensively. We are playing too tight, and that’s probably because we are such a young team. We have to learn to loosen up and have fun with it.”
The Cougars (9-15-1) have just two sophomores – Lovato and center fielder Mahela Punley.
TC is in Fresno today for a single game with Fresno City College (7-3 CVC, 21-6 overall) and a doubleheader at home Thursday at 2 p.m. with Porterville College (5-4 CVC, 12-15 overall).