Contra Costa College (0-17 overall and 0-13 in the Bay Valley Conference) had a tough outing at the Softball Field against third place Los Medanos College (11-15 overall and 10-7 in the BVC) Thursday.
Although the weather was cool and the wind factor was low, the team’s normal doubleheader was cut short due to an injury on the field. The Comets did not have enough players to finish the first contest and had to forfeit the second game.
CCC returns to the field for a doubleheader Thursday against Solano Community College in Fairfield at 1 p.m.
Against LMC, in the bottom of the first inning, the first three Comet batters in their lineup all hit high pop ups to right field, with the third by Sidney Davis finally dropping for a single.
Davis was ultimately left stranded on base and after the first inning the game was scoreless.
In the following inning, the Comets were able to retire pitcher Julie Lopez on a ground ball, resulting in an out at first base.
Following the out, the Mustangs rallied to score three runs in the second inning.
“Uncontrollable things will happen in the game of softball. You just have to learn how to play through them,” Comet coach Karolyn Gubbine said.
LMC third baseman Jazmyn Brown hit a triple to deep right field, but Comet pitcher Anna Palter followed that up by striking out second baseman Erika Hilderbrand.
The next batter, Mustang right fielder Ryan Yelder, reached first base on a walk. Then a single by shortstop Renee Smith drove in Brown from third.
This also allowed Yelder to move into scoring position. With runners on first and second base, Mustang left fielder Shayna Lee hit the second triple of the inning for LMC, scoring two more runs.
“I tell them to learn how to control their attention when all else fails.” Gubbine said.
Mustang pitching breezed through CCC’s batting order in the bottom of the second inning, making it a three-up, three-down inning.
Pitcher Julie Lopez seemed to be keeping her pitches low, as she got out of the inning retiring three Comet batters, Angelica Espinal, Mi’Jai Wilson and Nancy Bernal, all on ground balls.
The bottom of the third was non-eventful for the Comets, but Palter did average one strikeout per inning, totaling five in the game.
The fourth inning was the biggest inning for both teams.
Palter found herself in a toilsome situation, with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth and ended up walking in LMC’s Brittni Brown from third.
The Mustangs would go on to bat through their lineup and add on a total of four runs, putting the score at 7-0 in the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Comets found a way to get something started when Davis hit a double to the center field fence.
“I’m glad we put up a fight today, but I was hoping everyone would jump on the wagon, and we’d get something going,” Davis said.
On a 2-1 count, Regina Balan singled up the middle, driving in Davis from second. Moments later, Angelica Espinal found a way to sneak a squib bunt to advance Balan to second base.
With the exception of the fourth inning, the Comets had trouble moving runners into scoring position, and the Mustangs ended that inning with Brittni Brown catching a bunt attempt and throwing to second base to double off Balan.
Comet shortstop Angelica Espinal had a rocky day getting temporarily injured from a pop up that was roped high into the air. She couldn’t get her glove under it, and it landed right on her nose. This stopped the game for about 45 minutes, while the athletic trainer clotted the bleeding.
In the top of the fifth inning, Palter maintained her focus and managed to escape a bases-loaded situation giving up just two runs in the inning.
“I just didn’t want to give her a pitch to hit, and my ‘low-rise’ is my go-to pitch,” Palter said.
Despite the difficult 9-1 loss to LMC, the Comets demonstrated their camaraderie as a team and remain hopeful as they continue the search for their first victory of the season while fielding a nine-player roster.