May 13, 2009 > Ohlone softball continues on with upset of Consumnes River
Ohlone softball continues on with upset of Consumnes River
By Biff Jones
Photos By Don Jedlovec
Ohlone Renegades softball team traveled to Sacramento last Saturday and Sunday, May 9-10, to take on Nor Cal number-three seed, Consumnes River College Hawks in a best of three format, with the winner advancing to the CCC State playoffs this coming weekend, May 15-17, in Salinas.
Ohlone came into the Nor Cal Regional as the number-six seed, having defeated Merced College the previous weekend by winning two straight games in the first round. Consumnes River advanced to play the Renegades when they beat College of San Mateo, also two in a row.
Home and visitor in all the playoff games were decided by a coin flip before each game. In Game 1 on Saturday, the Hawks won the coin flip and chose to be the home team. That would turn out to be pivotal as the game went to the seventh and final inning of regulation tied, 0-0.
Ohlone's offense continued its woes as they had only three singles over seven innings. Meanwhile, its usually rock-solid defense went into the tank by committing four errors over six-plus innings. Only the pitching of Renegades ace and Tri-City Voice female Athlete of the Month for May, sophomore Kelly Colker, kept Ohlone tied after six innings of work. She struck out five while also giving up just three hits.
However, the bottom of the seventh turned fatal in game one as CR led off the inning with a single and the runner advanced to second when the Renegades defense went to sleep. Then, Ohlone tried to pick off the runner at second and the throw got past the center fielder to allow the winning run to score for a 1-0 victory to the Hawks and a 1-0 series lead.
In Game 2, the Renegades' bats began to gel, but the defense was still having its problems. CR took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but Ohlone would answer with one of their own. Consumnes River would once again go ahead with a run in the top of the fifth and again the Renegades came back in the bottom of the fifth for a 2-2 tie.
With the score still tied in the crucial bottom of the seventh, Ohlone freshman first baseman Shelby Tomasello reached second on a two-base error. Freshman left fielder Mariah Jones then sacrificed her to third. With one out and a runner on third, sophomore shortstop Jamie Miller laid down a suicide squeeze bunt and the Renegades evened the series at 1-1 with a 3-2 victory.
In the do-or-die Game 3, freshman Kendall Beerman got the start and continued where Colker left off. She shut down the Hawks' bats and the Renegades defense played like they had most of the year.
Renegades bats, however, reverted to their old selves and could muster only one single over the first three innings. In Ohlone's half of the fourth, they put together two singles by sophomore third baseman Audrea Lopez and freshman centerfielder Julyssa Perry. With one out, the Renegades executed a double steal to put runners on second and third. But two weak ground balls were hit and no runs scored.
After Colker came in and shut down the Hawks in the fifth, Tomasello led off the Ohlone half with a single. Jones followed by popping up a sacrifice bunt attempt that was misplayed and led to all the runners reaching base safely. After a Kat Sumner sac bunt, and with two outs, freshman right fielder Ashley Nahale delivered an infield hit to break the tie.
In the final inning, with Ohlone holding onto its 1-0 lead, Consumnes River came up swinging. They led off the frame with an infield pop-out. The next batter sent a ball that appeared would go over left fielder Jones' head, but somehow, was able to run back and reach-up to snag the ball before it could drop behind her for the second out. After allowing a double, Colker then was able to get the final out via strikeout to preserved the shutout and victory for the Renegades, giving them a the series win, 2-1, and a trip to the next round of the tournament, in Salinas next weekend.
For Head Coach Donna Runyon, who has won seven straight Coast Conference North Division championships, this would be her first trip to the state playoffs. Times and final teams selected were not available at press time. Check the Tri-City Voice Sports Web site, www.tricityvoice.com/sports, for the times and teams.