Softball earns first playoff trip since 2012

Mohamed Bafakih, Contributing Editor

From a 3-11-1 preseason catastrophe to begin the 2016 campaign, which featured six straight losses, to winners of 14 out of the next 21 games, which has included four straight wins to end the regular season, it has been a complete turnaround for Bakersfield College’s softball team.

For a young team to regroup and rise above all challenges that come with tasting defeat as often as they dealt with early on, to the pressure of creating the right opportunities for each individual to succeed, top to bottom everyone showed poise and had the willingness to remain focused even during rough stretches through the long 40-game season.

BC (18-21-1) respectfully earned the No. 17 seed and faced 16th-seed Long Beach City College (22-18) in the play-in round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs on the road on May 3 (recap on This is the Renegades’ first playoff appearance since 2012 and the Vikings’ first playoff appearance since 2011.

The Renegades commendably earned a postseason bid following a doubleheader sweep over Antelope Valley College on April 26.

Both BC and AVC came into its final regular season matchups tied for second place in the Western State Conference–Blue Division at 12-7 but with the head-to-head and overall advantage to the Marauders after a midseason 11-3 win over the Renegades on March 31.

The final two meetings between these two teams saw a different Renegades ball club than the Marauders first faced just less than a month prior.

“Our game plan (coming in) was playing one pitch at a time,” second-year head coach Christie Hill said. “Our fate is in our hands; we play one pitch at a time and we dominate one pitch at a time, we’re going to win two games.”

Sure enough that proved to be the case as BC struck first on the board in the bottom of the second behind a solo shot home run by first baseman Alyssa Gonzales as Marina Felipe got the start on the mound.

In the third inning, things started to heat up as AVC’s Angelica Ochoa responded with a solo homer of her own to tie it up at one apiece. The Renegades managed to follow suit as Madalyn Arambula bashed a two-run home run with her family cheering passionately with face cutouts rising high at the Dean and Adah Sports Complex to make it 3-1.

BC added two more runs in the fifth inning to increase the deficit, but AVC added two more late in the game as BC would hang on to a 5-3 victory.

The second game was the postseason clincher, and BC remained in cruise control as they cruised its way past Antelope Valley with a 9-8 season-saving victory.

Alexis Rodriguez went 3-for-4 and singled in the bottom of the seventh, which brought in Felipe for the game-winning run. “It has been a rocky season,” sophomore Trinidad Lee said. “We’ve come a long way and fought battles, and to make playoffs since 2012, it’s big for our team and pretty exciting.”