Taft College defeats Gavilan and Cuesta

Taft College tuned up for today’s non-conference softball doubleheader by winning two of three games the Cougars played Friday and Saturday.

On Friday they beat Gavilan 9-4 in Fresno and on Saturday split a doubleheader in Bakersfield, beating Cuesta 7-5 and losing to host BC 9-1.

TC is 3-6 heading into today’s action.

At BC on Saturday the Cougars were handcuffed by Renegade pitching in their first game.

BC roughed up Cougar starter Alex Holland for 13 hits, including two homers, but she emerged as the hitting star in the win over Cuesta. Playing first base, she went 3-for-3 with a first-inning triple and a two-run line drive homer in the fourth that provided the winning margin.

Andrea Bouschet and Ashley McKeown also went 3-for-3.

Jessica Neher took a two-hit shutout into the seventh and got two quick outs on back-to-back ground balls.

One out away from a complete game shutout, she tired and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.  Two of the hits were infield singles. Cuesta also had three stolen bases.

Neher induced a grounder to second baseman Brittany Peterson for the final out.

The Cougars got off to a good start.

After Neher struck out the side in the top of the first, leadoff hitter Chelsea Eli-Kido lashed a triple down the right field line that ignited a five-run inning.

The Cougars cooled off after that although they continued hitting the ball hard but often right at a defender.

In the fourth Stephanie Keith was hit by a pitch, and Holland stroked the homer that turned out to be the winning runs.

Cuesta’s rally began with a hit batter, followed by an infield single and a walk to load the bases.  Another infield single, a bases loaded double, two-run bloop single, and two walks later put a scare into the Cougars.

Taft will take a week off before starting Central Valley Conference play at Merced on March 1.

After that, the Cougars will play in the March 3-4 Fresno tournament before finally getting their first home game on March 6 when Fresno comes to town for a conference doubleheader.