Softball beats Canyons for first win, baseball team knocks off Allan Hancock
Taft College baseball and softball teams hope to ride momentum from last week’s non-conference victories into action this week.
The Cougar softball team, coming off a last-inning rally to beat College of the Canyons 12-10 for their first win of the season, hits the practice field this week to prepare for Saturday’s home doubleheader against Hartnell (5-0). Games are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The baseball team scored six times in the eighth inning last Thursday to earn an 11-7 win over previously undefeated Allan Hancock and will play San Joaquin Delta (5-0) this week in a home-and-home series. Tuesday’s game is at Stockton and Saturday’s is scheduled for Cougar Field at 1 p.m.
After losing their first five games, including an 11-0 rout in the first game of their home twin bill with Canyons, the Cougars bounced back to score six times in the bottom of the last inning to earn that elusive first win.
It was a seesaw affair through the first three innings with the Cougars emerging with an 8-6 lead, but Canyons scored three times in the fourth and once in the fifth to move ahead.
Sophomore first baseman Brinley Rosenberger led off the home half of the seventh with a line drive double to center field and moved up on a groundout. Leadoff hitter Alyssa Garcia drove an RBI single to center – her fifth hit of the game to finish 5-for-5 – that scored Rosenberger.
Shortstop Jessica Duran was safe on an infield error and third baseman Courtney Zimmerman slammed a three-run homer over the left field fence to win the game.
Rosenberger, Zimmerman, Jessica Silva and Allie Dobbs all had two hits apiece. Zimmerman’s other hit was a double.
Sophomore Andrea Garner got the win in relief of Jocelyn Reyes.
There was plenty of scoring in the first three innings: seven runs by the Bulldogs and five by the Cougars. It was goose eggs after that until the home half of the eighth when TC scored six times.
Right fielder Zach Jones got the rally going with a one-out single but a fly ball out put the Cougars in a hole.
Pinch-hitter Joel Santiago drew a walk and gave way to pinch runner Alec Olsen before leadoff hitter Javier Ramirez walked to load the bases. Hancock brought in another pitcher who gave up a two-run single to Jayce Gardner, Ramirez taking third.
After Wesley Hebert, who was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, walked to load the bases again the Bulldogs made another pitching change.
Freshman designated hitter Jade Smoot, who has been swinging a hot bat in the early season, bashed a three-run double to tie the game, then scored the winning run on a wild pitch to end a wild inning.
Tait Ludwick came on in relief in the ninth and retired the side in order to preserve the win.
Nick O’Conner started and worked two and a third, giving up seven runs (five earned) on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Micah McCulley worked until the ninth, holding the Bulldogs scoreless on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Nine Cougars had hits in the game, including solo homers by Jones (in the second) and Hebert (in the third).
TC was working on another win Saturday when darkness halted a non-conference game at Oxnard College. The Cougars were leading 9-8 in the bottom of the eighth when the game was suspended. It will be completed when TC hosts Oxnard on March 3.