March 15, 2011 > Ohlone softball back on the winning track
Ohlone softball back on the winning track
By Biff Jones
After being upset by Coast Conference North rival Chabot College Gladiators, 3-2, earlier this month, Ohlone College Renegades are back dominating the opposition. Renegades followed the loss by taking two games on the road, both by eight runs, against Cosumnes River College, then De Anza College.
Sophomore Jessica Varady again led Ohlone, despite being under the weather and on antibiotics, throwing a five-hit shutout with five strikeouts and no walks. Catcher Shelby Fowler had the greatest satisfaction on the day when, after striking out twice, found that the third time at bat was the charm as she blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence. Second baseman Sara Ragusa seemed to come out of the funk she has been in with an RBI double and a sacrifice bunt.
Chabot has been playing about .500 ball lately. They split two games each day, Saturday and Sunday, in a tournament in Fresno then lost two CCN road games last week: Tuesday to De Anza 2-0; Thursday vs. College of San Mateo, 7-0. Against De Anza, sophomore Cheyanne Bennett went the distance for the Gladiators, giving up six hits and four walks. In the CSM game, second baseman Taylor Cruz went 2-3 with a double. Freshman pitcher Rachael Martinez took the loss while going the distance.
Saturday, March 12, Chabot hosted Foothill College in another CCN encounter and the Gladiators fell 2-0; Bennett took the loss for Chabot, who is now 3-3 in CCN, 8-12 overall.
Meanwhile, Ohlone hosted their March Madness tournament at Central Park in Fremont last weekend. In pool play on Saturday, the Renegades opened with a 9-4 win over Porterville College behind the pitching of Varady. Game two saw Ohlone continue their winning ways with a 9-0, five-inning defeat of Cabrillo College. Lauren Ermitano gave up three hits in going the distance.
Third game of the day on Saturday saw Shasta College end the Renegades five-game winning streak with a 7-3, six-inning win, shortened because of a 105 minute time limit. Freshman southpaw Katy Bihl started for Ohlone and lasted two and a third innings, giving up four runs on six hits. Victoria Newton relieved Bihl, and lasted two and two-thirds yielding a run on two hits. Ermitano pitched the sixth allowing a run.
On Sunday in the Gold (championship) bracket, where it was lose and go home, Pool B second place Ohlone faced off against Pool C first place Feather River College in the quarterfinals. Ohlone jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a run in the second inning and three in the third. Feather River answered with three in the fourth inning and Ohlone added one in the fifth for a 5-3 lead. In the top of the seventh the Renegades put the game out of reach with three more runs and an 8-3 victory. Varady started and went the distance giving up five hits and striking out five.
Semifinals saw the Renegades play Pool A first place Solano College with Varady again going the distance and Ohlone jumping out to a 4-0 first inning lead. Solano got three back in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3. Again the hosts were up to the task and added three runs in the sixth for a 7-3 win. Leading the offense in this win was Marden, 2-3 including a two-run homer.
In the Gold finals Ohlone faced off against Pool D first place College of the Siskiyous. Varady got the nod again. Ohlone opened with a run in the top of the first and Siskiyous tied it in in the bottom of the second.
Then in the third, Varady gave up a lead off walk and should have been out of the inning as she induced the next three hitters to pop-up. However the second pop-up was dropped for an error. After another walk loaded the bases with two outs, the powerful team from near the Oregon border emptied the bases with a grand slam. When a single followed, that would be the end of the day pitching for Varady having gone 14 and two-thirds over three games.
Siskiyous added four more runs in the fifth with back-to-back home runs. Fowler contributed a solo homer for the Renegades as Siskiyous won the Gold Championship game, 9-2. Ohlone is now 16-5-1 overall, 3-1 in CCN play.