The City College softball team had a chance to better position themselves in the Big 8 Conference standings if they could pull off two big wins against the first-place Sierra College Wolverines.
The Panthers, however, came up short and were shutout in both games of an April 14 doubleheader at The Yard, dropping two games under .500 in conference play in the process.
City lost 1-0 in Game 1 as Marah Range took the ball as the starting pitcher. Range struck out four batters and only gave up three hits while pitching 5 1/3 innings. With the loss, she fell to 4-5 on the season as a starter.
Sierra (30-7, 18-3 Big 8) scored the only run of Game 1 in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly that brought in Layni DeMarte to make it 1-0, a score that would hold up as the final.
City head coach Tim Kiernan was not pleased with the team’s base-running in crucial moments of the game.
In the second inning, with the game still scoreless, freshman outfielder Mackenzie Duval got a lead-off triple but was tagged out with two outs when the Wolverines caught her too far off of third base.
The Panthers had another opportunity to plate the tying run with one out in the seventh. The chance came to a halt after City’s lead runner was thrown out at third attempting to steal on what Kiernan said was a missed signal.
“She just ran off and got caught there,” said Kiernan. “That was just bad base-running. They just have to learn and know when and when not to go.”
City College (19-17, 9-11 Big 8) lost the second game 4-0 with all four runs coming unearned on errors. The Panthers had trouble in both games fielding the ball in the infield to throw the Wolverines out on routine plays.
“That’s been kinda us all year,” Kiernan said on the team’s performance during the doubleheader. “We’re a young team and we make a lot of mistakes.”
The Panthers would face a deficit early in Game 2 Saturday. The team committed three errors in the second inning, each of which brought in a run.
City recorded six hits in the game but couldn’t take advantage when they had runners in scoring position. The Wolverines were error-free defensively, especially in pressure situations. They were able get batters out and not allow many balls out into the outfield.
Reyes struck out five batters and gave up six hits over the course of seven innings. The loss made Reyes 14-8 for the season, keeping her at fourth place in the Big 8 in wins.
The Panthers final four regular season games will feature a road game against San Joaquin Delta April 17, a doubleheader at home April 21 against Folsom Lake and the finale April 24 at Modesto Junior College.
Although City’s chances of winning the Big 8 are gone, Kiernan still believes his team will have games to play after the regular season comes to a close.
“We just have to fight every game,” he said. “We’re not going to win the league, but we still have a chance to get in the playoffs.”
For more on SCC softball, visit www.sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/sball/.