Softball success

Katherine J. White

Returning Bakersfield College softball pitcher Ashley Bailey knows what it feels like to put her all into the sport. After pitching 23 innings in two days, first against Cuesta, and then against Santa Barbara, she split both games going 1-1, and came away with an awfully sore arm.

The Renegades defeated Cuesta 4-2 in 12 innings in a make-up game on March 2. The original game was rained out and rescheduled, causing her back-to-back pitching days and another 11 innings in a 2-1 conference loss to Santa Barbara.

“I’m a little sore after all that pitching,” said Bailey. “I don’t think I’ve ever pitched that many games before, plus I did four games in the tournament so my arm hasn’t really recovered yet.”

Bailey’s dedication to the team is part of the reason the Renegades returnee is an All-American, All-State player and has a few looks from schools at the Division I level.

“I may go to this private school in Tennessee, but they don’t offer my major, so I’m not sure” said Bailey, who is an agriculture major at BC. “Agriculture is something I’ve been doing since I was a little girl.

“I’d really like to go to Arizona State just because they have a really good softball team, and I’ve watched and idolized their players for a while.”

The Renegade pitcher has had success pitching, as she is 8-2 in her starts, as of Feb. 28, according to the team’s Web site.

“I just try to hit my spots and have that look on my face like I can throw whatever I want to throw,” said Bailey.

Teammate Keeley Johnson admires Bailey’s pitching. “She has this really good, serious look on her face when she’s pitching,” said Johnson.

Bailey has enjoyed this year’s team, and even in the teams 5-4 defeat to top-ranked Mt. SAC in the BC Classic Tournament, she was elated with the team’s attitude.

“The energy of the team was great, everybody stepped on the field knowing what they needed to do,” said Bailey. “Sometimes we go into games nonchalant, and we knew coming into this game that if we made one mistake, Mt. SAC would capitalize on it.”

The Renegades are 11-5 overall and 4-1 in the Western State Conference, not counting a March 8 game against Hancock in Santa Maria.

Although all games on the schedule are important, some Renegade players are looking forward to a doubleheader Thursday afternoon in Santa Clarita against College of the Canyons.

“Bring on the Canyons,” said Johnson. “Every year on our side of the WSC (blue division), they always go to the playoffs ahead of us. We’re number two and they go as number one. That makes me mad, so I really want to beat them because I’m tired of them going ahead of us.”

Bailey agreed.

“She’s (Johnson) right. We always go into the playoffs under them, so it’d be nice to beat them and get in as number one.”

Johnson also had a few choice words in high praise of her team.

“I just think we have a really good team. All around. I mean like when you look at my situation, I’m hurt and the girl that is playing for me is doing an awesome job. That seems to be how all of us are this season. We want to win, and we work hard to try and keep our chemistry so we can go to the playoffs and win.”