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May 8, 2007 > Softballers advanced in state playoffs

Softballers advanced in state playoffs

By Biff Jones

Ohlone Lady Renegades of Fremont hosted Visalia's College of the Sequoias' Giants this past week-end on the Ohlone Campus. It was one of eight NorCal Regionals in the California Community College 2007 softball championship tournament. The two teams had to play a best of three game regional, with game one on Saturday and game two and game three (if necessary) on Sunday.

Game one turned out to be a pitcher's dual between Ohlone sophomore pitcher, Isabel Ramos and COS pitcher Alyssa Luna. Over the course of seven innings, Ramos allowed six hits while giving up one base on balls and one hit batsman. Luna, in turn, limited the Lady Renegades to four hits with one walk and one hit batter.

Basically, the whole game was played in the seventh inning. Top of the seventh saw the Giants put runners on first and second via a walk and a single after one out. Up came COS catcher Monica Matta who promptly hit a line shot to right field that looked like it might plate the first run of the game. But Ohlone freshman right fielder, Danielle Yee, would have none of it as she snared the line drive and fired the ball to freshman first baseman, Cassandra Ortega for an inning ending double play.

It was now the Renegades turn to bat in the seventh. Lead-off hitter, freshman second baseman Kassandra Winger, smashed a ball to left center that was hauled in by the Giants' center fielder. After another out, Ohlone freshman left fielder, Danielle Cameron, hit a ball into the left-center field gap and it ran all the way to the fence. Running hard out of the box, Cameron was able to slide safely into third with a two out triple as the throw came in off line. Renegades head coach, Donna Runyon, coaching third base, called time to talk to the next hitter, pitcher Ramos. Coach's advice to Ramos was for her to do like she had done earlier in the year in a late inning comeback win over Fresno City College. The suggestion paid off as Ramos was able to drive the ball through the middle of the infield for a game winning RBI single. The win meant Ohlone would only have to win one of a possible two games played this past Sunday to advance to the next round of regionals.

Sunday's first of two possible games saw another pitcher's dual between Ohlone's Ramos and COS's Luna. This time the Giants would strike first as their lead off hitter in the second inning doubled. This was followed by a walk then another double which scored two runs to give COS their first lead of the weekend. Meanwhile, Luna held the Lady Renegades to the minimum of nine batters over the first, three innings.

Ohlone's Winger finally broke through with a single in the bottom of the fourth with one out. After Ortega was hit by a pitch, the Renegades would go quietly on an infield fly and a strikeout to end the inning. Now Ramos found her groove and after giving up four hits and two bases on balls in the first two innings, she would shut the Giants down the rest of the way while surrendering zero hits, two walks and one hit batsman over the last five innings.

The sixth proved to be the game winner for the Lady Renegades as Yee led off with a sharp single through the third baseman's legs followed by a bunt which was beaten out by sophomore center fielder and lead off hitter, Valerie Brioness. Winger then popped out attempting to bunt before Ortega was again hit by the pitch to load the bases. This brought up sophomore designated player, Tiffany Chan, who hit a grounder to third. After throwing home for the force out, the throw to first for the double play got away to allow Briones to score and Ortega and Chan to move up to third and second, respectively.

Next up was sophomore third baseman, Raquel (Rocky) Torres, who had walked and struck out her first, two times at bat. This time she delivered with a bloop double down the left field line which plated Ortega and Chan to put Ohlone up 3-2. This would be enough for Ohlone to take the first two games of the best of three series and send the Lady Renegades on to the second round of the California State Community College Championship Tournament.

The next round will be played Mother's Day week-end, April 12-13, with game one, Saturday at 2 p.m. and game two and three (if necessary), Sunday at 12 noon and 2 p.m. respectively. Next opponent for NorCal number six seed, Ohlone, will likely be a road game against either NorCal number three seed Sierra of Rocklin or number four seed, San Jose City College. You can phone TriCity Voice at 510-494-1999 for the location of Ohlone's second round, state play-off games.

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