BC softball continues its push for the postseason
Bakersfield College’s softball team had its sophomore day right before its final home games, and they honored the sophomore’s final regular season games at BC by beating Santa Monica College handily twice in a doubleheader on April 15.
BC introduced the eight sophomores on the team before the start of the first game.
“These sophomores have had two phenomenal years here,” said BC coach Sandi Taylor. “They’ve been a catalyst for how well we’ve played these two years, and I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished here.”
Catcher Kara Frankhouser, who’s one of the sophomores that was honored, reflected on her final regular season game at BC.
“It was bittersweet because I’ve had some good memories here and I feel like we have grown so much as a team,” she said. “I think what I’ll take from my time at BC is the responsibility. Because Sandi Taylor’s coaching goes beyond softball, she teaches us how to be respectful woman and she teaches us about life.”
BC beat Santa Monica in the first game 10-1 and the second game 8-0, and both games ended in the sixth inning. The Renegades improved to a record of 24-9 and 10-7 in conference.
BC started the first game aggressive and had control of the game throughout. BC got a big start from starting pitcher Jessica Simpson, who struck out three of the first four Corsair batters, and BC was able to score two runs in the bottom of the first thanks to back-to-back doubles by outfielder Kaitlin Toerner and Frankhouser.
“When we’re aggressive we are successful,” said Taylor. “It’s when we’re passive that we struggle. I had told them before the game to try and win every inning, and they were able to do that.”
Simpson continued her strong play not giving up a hit in the first two innings and striking out four batters, while BC put two more runs in the bottom half of the second. BC kept adding to that lead with a 7-1 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth. BC started the sixth inning hitting back-to-back singles and then shortstop Jazmin Irvin hit a three-run home run to give BC a 10-1 lead, and the game was called because of the eight run forfeit rule.
“I thought we did great,” said Frankhouser. “I thought we came out slow, but we were able to elevate our level of play. I think in any game sometimes the hardest part of it is to play at your highest level, but I thought we rose to the challenge and kept the lead intact.”
BC carried the success from the first game onto the second game as they got another big performance from their pitcher. This time it was starting pitcher Julie Etsep who pitched six innings, had nine strikeouts and only gave up one hit and zero runs. She improved her record to 11-5 on the season.
“Anytime our pitchers can go out and control the game it gives our offense the confidence to play well and not press any situation,” said Taylor.
BC got up early scoring three runs in the first inning and added four more runs in the fourth giving them a 7-0 lead. The Renegades kept that lead going into the sixth.
In the sixth, BC had Frankhouser on first and she dashed all the way home off of a hit from Etsep to give BC an 8-0 lead and the win.
“I just kept thinking that we needed this run and when I saw Coach tell me to go home I just pushed harder and slid into home,” said Frankhouser. “After I made it to home I kind of forgot that we had won, and started to go to the dugout, but then I saw everyone rushing over and then I remembered.”
BC played Citrus College on April 19 and beat them 9-4 behind another good performance from Etsep. She had four strikeouts, three walks and gave up four runs. She also gave BC’s offense a big boost with two hits, including a grand slam, and also had five RBIs.
Taylor commented on how the team responded from a four game losing streak to put together a four game winning streak.
“I think they’ve responded really well,” she said. “They showed pride to respond after we lost four straight, and I think they showed their grit and tenacity.
“We had a big walk-off against a good team and I thought we carried it over well in these past games. Sure [Santa Monica] wasn’t at the same level of competition as the teams were going to play, but sometimes it’s harder to play lesser competition and then get ready for the better competition.”
She added that the team is battling for second place in the division which would give them an automatic berth to the postseason.
“We need to finish strong and try to get one of the four at large berths, which we have a strong chance of doing,” she said. “We don’t need to win out or have a team lose games, but obviously, if we could win out it won’t matter what the others do.”
BC’s next scheduled game will be against Riverside Community College on April 21.