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Sierra College softball team takes both games of double-header

By: Jeremy McDonald of the Auburn Journal
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Sierra College 9, Foothill College 1

The Wolverines were dominant in their season opener as they overcame a slow first inning to score five in the second inning and two in each of the third and fourth innings.

“We hit the ball really well,” Sierra College coach Darci Brownell said.  “First inning, we really had to wait on pitches. But after that, we really sat and hit the ball very well. Defensively, it’s a little shaky, first day out, but we hit the ball.”

Taylor Martinez (of El Camino) hit two doubles and Claire Shoffit (of Woodland) hit a two-run home run in the third for Sierra College.

Sierra College 4, Fresno City College 0

After having to sit for two hours after their morning game, Sierra College overcame some struggles with pitching and errors to shutout Fresno City College to move to 2-0 on the season.

“It’s huge, after having to sit out a game and wait that long to play another game, that’s tough to do,” Brownell said. “We were a little flat, but even being flat we were still able to put runs on the board and win the game.”

It took Sierra until the second out of the second inning to get their bats going against screwball pitcher, Sarah Santana.

When it happened, AJ Tinoco (of Natomas) hit a RBI double and Courtney Kelley (of Vintage) belted a RBI triple. Halie Howell’s single increased the lead to three runs before the frame could end. Kaitlyn Garcia (of Casa Roble) smashed an RBI-double off the fence two innings later.

“It’s the main key to keeping the game going,” said Kelley, who went 2 for 3 with a RBI in the game. “If you just settle and think that it’s OK to have two runs, then in the end, it might bite us in the butt.”

Jordan Becker (of El Camino) struggled with ball placement through the opening two innings with a few bouncers, two hits and a hit batsmen to go with her two strikeouts.

“All my droppers we’re going into the dirt,” said Becker, who pitched a complete game.  “But Sydni (Scott) did a great job at blocking them. I figured it out.”

A single, error and a walk filled the bases with two outs, but a full count strikeout delivered by Becker got the Wolverines out of the tight situation.

“Shut them down,” said Kelley on the mindset of the inning.  “We practice a lot. We practice pressure plays a lot so we can pick each other up,”

In the sixth, Sierra College had to put their practice to work again as two errors put the Wolverines in the same predicament before a great defensive stand got them out of the inning en route to the shutout.

 “That’s what the preseason is all about,” Brownell said. “You can practice that, but you don’t know what they’re going to do in a game and I’m really pleased with what they did.  They bounced back, they didn’t give up a run against a pretty good team.”

Sierra College is on the home diamond again Saturday against College of the Siskiyous and Merced College.