Taft College headed into break with a 2-0 loss to Allan Hancock College

Taft College softball will take a much-needed rest this week before the Cougars plunge into Central Valley Conference action next Tuesday with a trip to Merced College.

TC wrapped up its pre-conference campaign with a 2-0 loss to Allan Hancock College last Thursday in Santa Maria.

It was a tough 13-game grind against some of the state’s top teams and left the Cougars still searching for that elusive first win.

Among the foes – all but one of them on the road – were San Joaquin Delta (9-1), Rancho Santiago (12-1), San Jose (7-3), Hancock (9-3), and West Valley (9-3).

The Cougars are hoping they’ll find some comfort with the conference and regularly playing at home.

Following the CVC opening trip to Merced, the Cougars will have five straight games at home.

In the loss to Hancock the Cougars couldn’t find an answer for Bulldog pitcher Kately Chenault.

But only one team has.

Chenault is 7-1 in the circle with a 1.54 earned run average.  She has struck out 95 batters in 68 innings and walked only nine.

Cougar third baseman Kyana Hirokane spoiled Chenault’s no-hit bid with a ringing one-out double to center field in the fourth inning.

That hit sent Tuiai Elisara to third base after getting aboard on an error, but Chenault induced a popup and got a strikeout to end the Cougar threat.

TC had only one other base runner and that was Kelcie DeFreitas, who got aboard in the seventh when the Bulldog catcher dropped a third strike pitch.

Chenault’s dominance overshadowed a solid effort from Cougar freshman Kacee Schroeder, who limited Hancock to four hits, struck out four and walked two.

Both Bulldog runs came in the first inning without a base hit. 

A two-base error, walk, another error and a passed ball produced the game’s only runs.

Chenault finished with 16 strikeouts.  She had a strikeout against every Cougar batter except Cheyanne Emerson.