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May 6, 2009 > Renegades softball advances

Renegades softball advances

By Biff Jones
Photos By Don Jedlovec

Ohlone College women's softball team won two games over Merced College on Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3. Number six-seeded Renegades defeated #11-seed Merced in the first round of the Northern California Regional playoffs of the California Community College state championships. It was a best two out of three format with Ohlone winning the first two games on the Fremont campus.

In game one on Saturday, Tri-City Voice female player of the month for May and Ohlone sophomore, Kelly Colker, took the mound and threw a complete-game shutout. She gave up just three singles, two walks and had five strikeouts while allowing no Merced runner past second base. Meanwhile, Colker's defense behind her was playing flawlessly.

Merced decided to start their number two pitcher, Nicole Blades, before bringing on their ace, Lindsey Oexle, to start the fifth inning. Oexle throws a variety of change-ups with several different spins on the ball to go along with her fastball. Ohlone scored the only two runs of the game in the second inning on a leadoff single by freshman left fielder Julyssa Perry followed by two Merced errors.

Merced committed five errors during the game but the Renegades could only capitalize on the two in the second inning. Offensively, Ohlone could only muster five singles while drawing no walks in the 2-0 game one victory.

Game two on Sunday saw freshman Kendall Beerman toe the rubber to start the game for the Renegades as Ohlone Head Coach Donna Runyon wanted to give Merced a different look while holding back Colker for game three if necessary.

Merced went with their ace, Oexle, to start the game. In five innings of work, Beerman gave up three hits, a solo homerun and two singles while walking two walks and striking out seven.

Coach Runyon decided to bring on Colker to start the sixth as she felt Beerman was tiring, especially after she was coming off an injury. Colker retired the Merced batters in order in the sixth and seventh innings with one strikeout.

Throughout the game, the Renegades continued to play stellar defense while the offense picked up the pace. They answered Merced's third-inning homerun with a run of their own in the bottom of the third on a single and a stolen base by sophomore shortstop Jamie Miller. After a strikeout, Miller was brought home on an RBI single by freshman right fielder Ashley Nahale.

Ohlone added the go ahead runs in the bottom of the sixth when Nahale led off with a double followed by bunt singles from Perry and sophomore second baseman Kim Cawley. Sophomore catcher Kat Sumner then delivered a sacrifice to score the third and final run of the game for the Renegades in a 3-1 win, and sweep of the series.

Ohlone will next play the second round of the Nor Cal Regional Tournament this coming weekend, Saturday, May 9, and Sunday, May 10, in a yet to be determined site. Most likely scenario will be a road trip to Cosumnes College of Sacramento in another best two out of three series with the winner advancing to the eight team (four from Nor Cal and four from So Cal) double elimination state tournament, May 15-17, in Salinas.

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