BC softball defeats Antelope Valley; improve to 18-5

Justin White, Sports Editor

Bakersfield College softball defeated Antelope Valley by a score of 9-0 on March 24 to improve their record to 18-5.

BC started the scoring early and scored often, beginning with shortstop Shelbie Valencia scoring from third on a passed ball, and BC scored 6 runs within the first two innings, including a home run by first baseman Anika Romo in the second. Catcher Destiny Cuellar logged the most hits for her team, hitting a perfect 4 for 4 and driving in a run. 

Pitcher Talia Nielsen was as close to flawless as one could ask for, pitching all 7 innings and striking out 13 batters while giving up no runs on just 4 hits, with an exceptionally high percentage of strikes at 83.3%. Nielsen’s ERA of 1.53 is the second-best in the Western State Conference (WSC), just behind Moorpark’s Lindsey Cowans’ 1.12, according to the Western State Conference website. Her 13 season and 5 conference wins also puts her first in wins in the WSC.

When asked about Nielsen’s fantastic freshman year, Head Coach Casandra Goodman said that Nielsen works hard and cares about the team. 

“She wants the team to have success, she trusts her defense, and our offense supplies run support for her, so she is able to just go out and throw her game and a lot of times that’s when you’ll see pitchers thrive. If our offense goes cold, she keeps us in games and that’s been huge for us. I’m glad she’s on our team.”

When asked about the intensity that comes with playing against conference foes, coach Goodman stated that the preseason prepared them for these games, and that “[they] try to have the same mentality and intensity every game, regardless of who [they] play.” 

She also said that heading into the final month of the season, she doesn’t need to tell the team much in order to push them to do better. 

“If we play our game and focus on our team, we are extremely hard to beat.” 

With the victory on March 24, the Renegades improved to 18-5 on the season and 5-0 in conference play. They’ll play 6 games over the weekend on March 25 and 26 in Ventura for a tournament, before returning home to play Citrus College on March 29.