April 27, 2012 > Women's Softball: Renegades are playoff bound
Women's Softball: Renegades are playoff bound
By Biff Jones
The Ohlone College Renegades' fast pitch softball team will not win its tenth straight Coast Conference North (CCN) Division title this year. However, it will finish in second place and receive one of twelve automatic bids to the sixteen-team California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Northern Regional Post-Season Tournament.
On April 19, Ohlone traveled to Cupertino to take on the third place De Anza College Dons in a game that De Anza desperately needed to win. It was De Anza's final regular season contest and they were playing for one of four wild card bids to the CCCAA North Region Playoffs. Sophomore Katy Bihl would get the start for Ohlone while Casey Showalter started for De Anza. After the Renegades were set down in the top of the first inning, the Dons got on the board in the bottom of the first on an Ohlone error, a single and a two-out double for a 2-0 lead. Ohlone came right back in the top of the second on singles by Kaley Marden, Shelby Fowler and Jaime Costa to cut De Anza's lead to 2-1.
Ohlone would take the lead 3-2 in the third inning as center fielder Ashley Vignola led off with a single followed by shortstop Mariah Nisbet reaching on a Don throwing error when laying down a sacrifice bunt attempt. After an out, Marden walked to load the bases, which was followed by RBI singles from Lauren Ermitano and Fowler to give the Renegades the lead. De Anza plated three runs in their half of the fifth inning on two walks, two singles and another Renegade error for a 5-3 lead. Again, Ohlone answered in the next half of the inning when Fowler led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a fly ball out by Costa, and scored on a single by Bihl to narrow the lead to 5-4.
The top of the seventh inning saw the Renegades tie the score at 5-5 when Nisbet opened the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by second baseman Sarah Ragusa. Nisbet then scored on a double by Marden. The game would go into extra innings after freshman pitcher Brittany Wright's shut down bottom of the seventh. The Renegades then exploded for five runs in the top of the eighth inning on singles by Renelle Traylor and Wright; Vignola reaching on a hit-by-the-pitch; doubles from Nisbet and Marden; and a Don error, which allowed Ermitano to reach base. After Wright's second shut-down inning in the bottom of the eighth, Ohlone achieved a 10-5 victory to improve its record to 14-3 in CCN and 26-11 overall.
The Renegades will find out on April 28 who and where they play for the first round of the CCCAA North Regional. It will be a best two-out-of-three format with game one on Saturday, May 5 and game two the next day. The top eight of the 16 seeded teams will host the first round of games with one playing 16, two playing 15, etc. Ohlone had been ranked fifth or sixth recently in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) so will probably host a first round game.