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May 15, 2012 > Women's Softball: Ohlone softball Super Regional ends in a slug fest

Women's Softball: Ohlone softball Super Regional ends in a slug fest

By Biff Jones

Round two of the 2012 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) post season fast pitch championship tournament was held May 11-13, at four Super Regional (S.R.) contests across the state. Ohlone College Renegades participated at the College of San Mateo tournament which included College of San Mateo (CSM) Bulldogs, Sierra College Wolverines of Rocklin, and the College of the Sequoias (COS) Giants. The winner advanced to the state tournament May 18-20 in Bakersfield.

First game for Ohlone saw them start its workhorse pitcher, southpaw Katy Bihl with a record of 14-7 against Sierra ace, Ashley Osier coming in at 17-2. The Renegades, with three runs in the top of the second inning, chased Osier after only an inning and a third of work. Two mores runs in both the third and fifth innings gave the Renegades a 7-0 lead after 4 1/2 innings. Finally in the sixth, Wolverines got on the board, but the underdog Renegades came away with a 7-3 upset. The victory sent Coast Conference North (CCN) second place Ohlone into Saturday's winner's bracket game against CCN Champ, CSM, who had defeated COS 8-2.

Saturday saw the Renegades win the pre-game coin flip against CSM Bulldogs for the right to be the home team and have the last at bat. Brittany Wright at 8-2 would get the start for Ohlone against Bulldog ace, Michele Pilster, 29-3.

Ohlone scored a run in the first inning and CSM tied it 1-1 in the third. Both teams would threaten but neither could plate the go ahead run until the sixth. Going into the bottom of the seventh with the Renegades trailing 2-1, Ashley Vignola led off with her patent weapon of late; being hit by a pitch. With the tying run on first base, Ermitano fouled off a couple of two strike pitches before delivering a two-run walk off home run to give Ohlone a 3-2 victory.

Saturday's second loser's bracket game saw Sierra defeat CSM, 6-4 to end the Bulldogs' season. Sierra had defeated COS 10-4 earlier and would now have to defeat Ohlone twice on Sunday to keep their season alive whereas the Renegades needed only one Mother's Day victory to move on to the state tournament in Bakersfield.

Sunday's noon start was greeted with the wind blowing out to left field and it would prove to be a day for the hitters. Bihl would get the start again for Ohlone while Wolverines' ace, Ashley Osier, the pitcher the Renegades chased in the second inning on Friday, got the nod for Sierra.

Again Ohlone won the pregame coin flip so Sierra batted first. This time Sierra was ready for Bihl's assortment of breaking balls and change-ups and struck for six runs in the top of the first on five hits including a two-run home run by Osier and a two-run double to go along with two walks. Bihl did not make it out of the first inning and was relieved by Wright who got the final out of the frame.

Wright then kept the score at 6-0 until the fourth inning but the Renegades could do nothing against Osier, getting only a single from Ragusa to go along with five walks. Sierra scored in the top of the fourth after two outs on a double a walk and Osier's second homer of the day, a three-run shot for a 9-0 final score.

In Sunday's second game it was Wright vs. Emily Snow. This time Ohlone had first at bat and the Renegades started strong with three runs in the first and one in the second. Meanwhile, Sierra answered with two in their half of the first inning for a 4-2 Renegade lead after 2 1/2 innings.

The Wolverines scored six runs in the third, five in the second and three in the sixth. It looked like it was going to be another eight run mercy rule game but Ohlone would have none of it. Renegades put up five runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh. Both teams finished with 15 hits but Renegade pitching gave up 10 walks to none from the Wolverines. Sierra catcher Annette Merjano added two home runs while Ohlone sophomore right fielder, Lauren Poffenbarger smacked the first round tripper of her career.

The final score of 16-12 sent Sierra to Bakersfield while it was the end of the line for Ohlone in 2012 as they finished at 31-11. Next year will be a re-load year for Coach Runyon because the majority of the 2012 team players are graduating sophomores.

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