Mustangs rout Comets, home team quieted in doubleheader

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Denis Perez / The Advocate

Denis Perez / The Advocate Comet pitcher Zuleyma Garcia-Higareda slides into home plate during the Comets’ 16-2 loss against the Los Medanos College Mustangs at the Softball Field in the first game of a doubleheader on March 14. The Comets lost the second game 16-2 as well.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The softball team made its season debut in a doubleheader at home, but failed to make the event a memorable one, failing to convert its effort to runs and eventually losing a pair of 16-2 games against Los Medanos College March 14 at the Softball Field.

With only three sophomores on the squad, this game was the first college level competition most of the Comets (0-2 in the Bay Valley Conference) ever faced.

The team did not have any non-Bay Valley Conference games this season because of the uncertainty surrounding the prospect of beginning a season with only four teams in the BVC.

“I saw some assertiveness from some of our veteran players. There were sparks of positivity,” coach Karolyn Gubbine said. “Despite the outcome, the team kept a good attitude late in the game.”

The team returns to the field to continue its rebuilding process Thursday in a doubleheader against Yuba College at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Pitching is expected to be hit-or-miss for Contra Costa College this season as no player on the roster has pitched before — on this level or at any other time in their playing careers.

“I’ve never played pitcher or first base so it motivated me a little more,” sophomore first baseman Zuleyma Garcia-Higareda said. “I’ve always played shortstop, so coach (Gubbine) putting me in a position that I wasn’t used to made me push a little harder.”

Dierra Mize, all-BVC point guard for the CCC women’s basketball team, provided the most memorable highlight for either team on the field.

In the bottom of the first inning, Mize made solid contact with a pitch that netted the shortstop a single. After taking second base on an overthrow, she ignited her jets and motored around third and into home.

“Despite all of the obstacles we had to deal with to get the league together, I think we did pretty well,” Gubbine said.

Freshman Hulita Latu started the first game at pitcher for the Comets and despite showing some jitters, the freshman seemed up to the challenge of shouldering the responsibility of pitching in the BVC.

The Mustangs (2-4 overall and 2-2 in the BVC) led by a four-hit effort from shortstop Alexandria Tellez, exploited Latu’s inexperience in the first inning, notching a whopping 10 runs to start the game.

CCC lost its first game of the season after five innings 16-2.

The Comets, still rebuilding from last year’s zero-win season, seemed more comfortable in the second game than in seasons past.

Despite the team’s lack of experience, only five errors in total were committed by Comet players in both games.

Mize was not the only player to get the 15 or so CCC fans in attendance to their feet.

In the second game, after being called out on an attempt to steal third base in the fourth inning, Comet freshman Desirae Armstrong challenged the left fielder’s arm after a shallow blooper to left field was hit by center fielder Victoria Lopez.

As the fielder caught the ball, Armstrong tagged third, then began her sprint toward home.

Her slide began before the ball hit the LMC catcher’s glove and as the Mustang tagged Armstrong’s sliding leg, her foot was already resting safely on home plate.

CCC lost the second game of the doubleheader by the same score of 16-2.

“Today felt great. The first game I was scared of course, but I loved it,” Armstrong said. “I thought that I wouldn’t get a hit and that I’d strike out. But it was fun.”