BC softball continues its winning season
Nestor G. Fernandez, Reporter
March 14, 2012
Filed under Sports
Oxnard College came to Bakersfield College on March 1 to face a Renegades softball team that was on a roll and had won seven straight games.
It soon became eight straight as BC rolled past Oxnard 6-1 and improved their record to 12-4.
Starting pitcher Julie Estep (5-4) hurled a solid seven innings of work.
As she gave up only one run on four hits while striking out seven and allowing one walk. Kara Frankhouser, who was two for four and drove in three runs, again spearheaded the offensive attack.
But it was once again a concerted team effort, as they collected 12 hits to post their six runs.
“The pitching has been getting stronger and stronger, and then I think our offense has just been battling and taking what the pitcher gives us. We’re finding a way to make something productive out of it,” said BC head coach Sandi Taylor.
After the defeat of Oxnard once again showed how strong and consistent the pitching has been during the winning streak, Coach Taylor had this to say about the lone run (6th inning solo homer from Heather Bacon ) given up on the day.
“We got behind in the count on that girl, and she’s a good hitter.
“I think what is happening is our athleticism is starting to show.
“We’re manufacturing runs with speed and timely hitting which is something we talk about all the time.
“We stole a couple of bases today, and I thought our athleticism is what got us going.
“Early on, Brittney Roberts, she was two for two in her first
two at bats. In those first four innings, we were a little bit sluggish.
“So I thought she gave us a little spark there.
“And then Kara shortened up and lifted singles instead of trying to hit long balls, which we needed.
“We just needed singles to score a couple of runs, so I was real pleased with the manufacturing of runs.”
The manufacturing of runs once again led to the manufacturing of wins, and in bunches.
On March 6, the Renegades faced Santa Barbara City College at BC in a very cold and windy afternoon.
Despite the adverse conditions, BC gutted it out for a 10-5 victory.
After Santa Barbara scored twice and broke a scoreless tie in the top half of the third inning, BC answered right back in the bottom half with three runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead.
Then in the fourth, Santa Barbara scored a run to tie it up at 3-3.
In the bottom of the fourth, BC loaded the bases and a couple of miscues by Santa Barbara led to a couple more runs by BC, and the Renegades went up 5-3.
Jazmine Irvin came up and belted her first home run of the year over the right field wall in the fifth.
That led to a couple more runs for BC as they took a commanding 8-3 lead after five after a couple of errors by BC in the sixth inning allowed Santa Barbara to tighten the score to 8-5.
Irvin struck again in the sixth with an RBI single, and BC added another run to account for their double-digit total of 10 runs.
Taylor admired the way the team kept its focus despite the chill factor.
“I am really proud of these girls today because they endured the 30 mile an hour wind and cold.
“It takes a lot of concentration and focus.
“We were pleased with our pitching staff today. Those two gals did a nice job of shutting them down.
“I felt the turning point of the game was when my center fielder (Kaitlin Toerner) threw that girl out at home.”
The Lady Renegades conference season opener on March 8 saw the winning streak reach 10 straight after beating the LA Mission Eagles 11-3 in BC.
It didn’t take long for the Renegades to put up multiple runs. In the bottom of the first inning, Brittany Messer (Lf) walked to lead off.
After an out, Frankhouser hit an RBI double to bring home Messer for the first run.
Another out was followed by another walk to shortstop Jazmine Irvin.
Designated hitter Kaila Williams then bunted for an RBI that brought in Frankhouser.
Pitcher Julie Estep ripped a double to bring in Irvin for the third and final run of the inning.
The three runs posted in the first was then topped with four more runs in the second and a 7-0 lead.
Center fielder Toerner started things going with a walk. Then she was followed by Frankhouser who was hit by a pitcher. Then third baseman Sarah Smith hit a double.
A two-run double was followed by Irvin, and an RBI double by Williams produced the four-run second.
It was all that was needed for the win, as the Eagles posted two runs in the fourth, and a single run in the fifth.
The Renegades answered right back with a run in the fourth and three more runs in the fifth to end the game with an eight run lead after five innings (per governing softball rules).
Taylor commented on how her team responded after being scored on.
“Every time they scored, we answered right back, and so we didn’t allow them to get any momentum.
“But more importantly, when those kids scored, we got the closing out, so that keeps the momentum on our side and keeps the pressure off.
“I was real pleased the way we played defense. We played solid.
“A couple balls got by us in the infield and that’s going to happen sometimes. Our pitcher [Estep] went down with what we think is heat exhaustion so Kaila [Williams] comes in the third, and she didn’t miss a beat.
“She was good. She didn’t get a couple calls that she would have liked, but I thought she threw the ball really well. So it was a good day.”
The “good day” culminated another good week of softball for BC.