Talia Nielsen makes history as Renegades advance


Justin White/The Rip

Talia Nielsen’s reaction mere moments after breaking the Renegades single-season strikeout record.

Justin White, Sports Editor

Renegades softball defeated El Camino college in game 3 of the regional playoffs to advance as pitcher Talia Nielsen etched her name into the record books.

El Camino got the scoring started with a sac fly in the top of the 2nd. 

Designated player Kady Smith gave the Gades the lead in the bottom of the 2nd with a 2-run home run.

After catcher Destiny Cuellar walked to load the bases, Nielsen hit a sac fly to make it 3-1, and shortstop Shelbie Valencia hit a double deep to left center, driving in the other two runners to make it 5-1.

El Camino caused a scare when they loaded the bases in the top of the third, but Nielsen forced a fly out to left field for the second out. 

For the third out of the third, Nielsen made history by breaking the Bakersfield Renegades record for strikeouts in a season with her 290th, and her teammates celebrated with her as the crowd cheered.

After the impromptu celebration, second baseman Rylee Price hit a home run in the bottom of the inning to further extend the Gades lead to 6-1. The Gades were able to extend the lead to 8-1 before the inning ended.

In the bottom of the 5th, first baseman Alyssa Miller hit a home run to increase the lead to 8 runs, and the game ended via mercy rule after that.

After the game, Coach Casey Goodman talked about the words she gave her team after a tough game 1 loss.

“[I told them] that it wasn’t over. We had another game and opportunity and I told them we wanna take it three games and whatever happens that third game, so be it, but they showed fight today.”

Coach Goodman also spoke about Nielsen and her impact on the team.

“She’s a big reason we’re here… she’s a competitor, she puts her team first, and she deserves all the credit that she gets. There’s not another one like her.”

An incredible feat, Nielsen led the WSC in strikeouts for the regular season being ahead of the next closest strikeout leader by more than 70 Ks, and she now sits alone as the Renegades single-season strikeout queen.

“It’s nice to break [solo] records, but I really couldn’t have done it without my entire team. With them encouraging me and being behind my back the whole time, that’s why I was able to do that,” Nielsen said about breaking the record.

On the volume of pitches she’s thrown over the last two days, Nielsen said she would love to throw every inning.

“Going out there, I’m comfortable, I’m able to do my own thing, and it’s easy. It’s what I love to do so I don’t mind at all.”

The Renegades head into the next round with Mt. Sac College slated as their next opponent.

“We played them the first game of the season and we haven’t seen them since. A lot has happened since the first game of the season, and we’re just gonna go in and play our game and do the same thing that we’ve done all year… we’re looking forward to the competition.”

The series against Mt. Sac will begin Friday, May 13, as the Renegades will finally get a chance to avenge their season-opening loss.