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February 6, 2007 > Ohlone Women Prepare for Defense of their League Title

Ohlone Women Prepare for Defense of their League Title

By Biff Jones

The Ohlone women's softball team began the 2007 season this past week with a three game home sweep of non-conference opposition. The Lady Renegades welcomed seven first year players to join another seven veterans who are back for their second season with the team. The veterans include catcher/infielder Meredith Ang out of Washington High School in Fremont, outfielder Valerie Briones, pitcher Tiffany Chan, pitcher Kristina Gonsalez from James Logan H.S. in Union City, pitcher Isabel Ramos, American H.S., Fremont, infielder Jessica Soderholm, James Logan, and infielder Raquel Torres, James Logan. Freshman newcomers are outfielder Danielle Cameron, catcher/first baseman Cassandra Ortega, infielder Katrina Roman, James Logan, infielder Danielle Sommer, outfielder Courtney Vijeh, Newark Memorial H.S., Newark, utility player Kassandra Winger, and pitcher/outfielder Danielle Yee, Milpitas H.S.

Ohlone opened the season last Thursday, February 1 with an 11-4 victory over Santa Rosa College. Ramos pitched a six hitter with three strike-outs, one walk and one hit batsman. Offensive stars for the Renegades were Briones with two singles, two walks, four stolen bases and four runs scored, Winger, double, single and a sacrifice bunt, Chan, two singles and Cameron, to runs batted in.

On Saturday, Ohlone hosted San Joaquin Delta College and Fresno City College, with the two visitors playing the second game of the day. In the morning game, the Renegades defeated San Joaquin Delta, 6-4, as Chan gave up four hits with six strike-outs and three walks. Hitting stars were Briones, two hits and a stolen base, Soderholm, two hits and two stolen bases, and Ortega with a double.

The nightcap was literally that, as the games ran late most of the day Ohlone and Fresno engaged in a "classic." Fresno would take the lead only to have Ohlone battle back and tie the game. This would happen three times over the course of the seven inning game. After Ohlone tied the score in the bottom of the sixth, 4-4, and the game moving into darkness, Fresno erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh. Now all Ohlone had to do was score at least four or five runs in their half of the seventh with the batters trying to hit a round ball with a round bat in the dusk. Somehow the Renegades regrouped, with everyone doing their job in the batting order, and they pulled out a 9-8 victory with a five run seventh.

With the victories, Ohlone showed they have the ability to come back and are seeking to win their fifth straight Coast Conference, North Division title under head coach Donna Runyon. Early indications are that the Renegades can score runs, but there seems to be a lack of long ball and extra base power. Assistant coach, Mavis Padgett thinks it is more of a mental thing as during practice they hit the ball all over the park. Next home games for Ohlone will be next Saturday, February 10 against College of the Sequoias at 10 a.m. and Butte College at 2 p.m. or later, depending on the length of the first two games.

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