Merced College took advantage of some shaky defense in the early going today to defeat Taft College 7-6 in the Central Valley Conference softball opener for both schools.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 5-0 lead, partly because of three Cougar errors.
Taft bounced back with two runs in the fourth on three hits and an error, but the Blue Devils added two more in the top of the fifth on four hits.
Cougar left-fielder Stephanie Keith lined a two-run homer over the left field fence to spark a three-run rally in the bottom of the inning to narrow the gap to 7-5.
TC got a run in the seventh on three hits and left two runners on when the final out was made.
TC (0-1 CVC, 7-10 overall) will play this weekend in the Fresno Bash.