Cougars defeat College of the Siskiyous 2-1

Freshman right fielder Denise Elisara socked a homerun to back up Jessica Neher’s 10-strikeout pitching performance Saturday as Taft College christened its softball season with a 2-1 win over College of the Siskiyous.

The game was played at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.

“It was nice to get to play them,” said Cougar head coach Stefanie Walsh.  “They are the northern most school and we are the southern most school in the northern California division.”

Siskiyous scored a run in the top of the third inning to take a brief lead before Elisara’s solo homer in the bottom of the fourth tied it.  The Cougars then pushed over what proved to be the winning run.

Sophomore shortstop Ashley McKeown turned in back-to-back fielding gems.

“She made two back-to-back diving line drive stops,” Walsh said.  “The umpire told me, ‘that first stop was incredible, but how do you describe the second because it was even better.’”

The Cougars played like it was the first day of the season.

“We definitely had the typical opening day jitters,” Walsh said.  “It took them a while to get warmed up.  I think we are going to settle in and have a good team.”

The Cougars will host San Joaquin Delta College of Stockton Saturday in a doubleheader at the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.  First pitch is at noon.

“That will definitely be a good test for us,” Walsh said.  “Delta is in the top four year-in and year-out.”