Squad struggles to find form, add win to season

Comets drop both games to Storm, see improvements


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

Comet infielder Angelica Espinal tags out Storm outfielder Jordan Baker during Thursday’s loss against Napa Valley College.

By Dylan Collier, Staff Writer

NAPA — The softball team played two good games against Napa Valley College (10-13 overall and 10-2 in the Bay Valley Conference), which saw few runs on the scoreboard late into the first game.

As the sun shined down upon Storm Field, everyone was in good spirits for the outing against the Comets (0-14 overall and 0-10 in the Bay Valley Conference). Scoring was sparse early but second place Napa Valley College surged late taking both games of a doubleheader 9-0 and 17-2 on Thursday.

The women’s softball team has been making significant improvements on defense. The only runs scored by Napa through the first four innings were on wild pitches.

In the bottom of the first inning Napa utility player Bailey Murphy stole second base on a bad throw.

The Comets held Napa to one run in the first and got out of the inning by scooping up a grounder and throwing out the runner at first base.

In the top of the second inning, CCC pitcher Anna Palter singled but the inning would be scoreless for the Comets, as per usual they left runners stranded on the bases.

Leaving base runners stranded is a problem that has plagued the Comets for most of this season.

To start the bottom of the second inning, Palter struck out the opposing hitter, but the catcher didn’t hold onto the ball and the runner beat the throw to first base.

The Comets regained their composure, earning a strikeout and then a grounder, which resulted in the third out of the inning.

Napa led CCC 1-0 after two innings.

As the innings progressed, the Comets demonstrated their heads up base running with infielder Angelica Espinal stealing second base. But she was ultimately unable to be driven home.

In the bottom of the third, catcher Sidney Davis made a clean throw to second base catching the runner trying to steal, followed by a superb throw to home plate that saved a run from scoring. Although the Comet defense played a good game, the team was not able to manufacture runs.

The Comets ultimately lost the first game 9-0 after five innings.

The Comets made some improvement in terms of communicating with each other. “We communicate and call it more. We know our positions better,” Comet outfielder Mai’Jae’ Wilson said.

It was a great day for softball as the Comets’ spirits were high and Napa Valley was searching for its first home victory. Thus far the El Ninó weather pattern fueled a rainy season that has put a damper both in the East  and North bay areas, resulting in Napa having yet to play any home games since its conference opener against Los Medanos College.

Although Napa has won 80 percent of its games in the BVC both teams shared a common theme — Napa and Contra Costa were each ecstatic to finally be able to run around on the outfield grass. Everyone looked to be enjoying the weather and pleasantly basked in the sun.

Even with the field in poor condition, CCC outfielder Nancy Bernal made a terrific catch with a bothersome injury.  “I’m playing on a sprained ankle,” she said.

Napa Valley also had a rocky start to its 2016 season, so CCC was in search of duplicating how Napa has been playing in the month of March. Although the Comets put forth a good effort, they came up short and lost the second contest 17-2 after five innings.

“We’re getting more hits, rather than watching the ball,” Palter said.