The City College softball team swept both games of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon against Modesto Junior College with mercy-rule victories.
The 1-2 pitching punch of Marah Range and Danielle Reyes powered the Panthers through each game, allowing only two combined hits in both games against the Pirates.
At the community college level, the softball mercy rule is in effect when a team is leading by eight or more runs at the end of five innings. The Panthers took Game 1 of the doubleheader 10-1 in five behind the effort of Range, who allowed only one hit and struck out seven in her third win of the season. The only run she gave up was unearned.
Reyes earned her 13th win of the season, surrendering just one hit and striking out four over her four innings of work in Game 2. Marina Peralta closed out the 8-0 win with a scoreless fifth inning.
“All of our movement pitches: our curveballs and our changeups were working really well,” said Range. “We got hits when we needed to… I think we’re starting to mesh as a team and actually perform the way we’re supposed to. It’s looking a lot better than it did in the beginning of the season.”
City struck for three runs off five hits in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1. The Panthers added four more in the second on a double off the left field wall from Marissa Rocha and a triple from Elizabeth Caffero. Mikaela Ball added an RBI double in the fourth, extending the City lead to 10-1.
In Game 2, City scored in the bottom of the second inning when Mackenzie Duval’s bunt single attempt turned into a round-tripper. Duval laid down a bunt just in front of home plate, and when the Modesto catcher fielded it, she threw the ball into right field, allowing Duval to circle the bases and score the game’s first run.
“I thought (the ball) was going to go foul,” said Duval. “I saw it go into right field and said, ‘I’m going to go, I guess.’”
Duval followed up with a three-run, bases-clearing double, extending the City lead to 5-0 after three innings.
Caffero reached base in all six of her plate appearances Saturday. In Game 2, she hit her 10th home run of the season—tied for the second most in California. The freshman from River City High School is climbing up City’s all-time single season home run ladder. Saturday’s homer ties her for third most by any Panther in school history.
City has many contributors up and down its lineup.
Reyes is in the state’s Top 10 in wins, innings pitched, complete games, strikeouts and earned run average. On the offensive side, Caffero and Sydney Craft have the two best batting averages among Big 8 Conference players this season. Morgan Silva-Conner is hitting .436 with three homers. Mackenzie Duval, who hit .333 prior to Big 8 play, is batting .433 since league started Feb. 24, and sister Ashley Duval is 8-for-13 with a pair of doubles in City’s last five games.
At 6-5 in the Big 8 Conference (16-11 overall), City is two games behind conference leaders Cosumnes River College and San Joaquin Delta, who are both 8-2 in league play.
“We’ll take everything we can get right now,” said City head coach Tim Kiernan. “We have CRC here Tuesday, and we need that one. Six losses might win the league.”
City hopes to make up some ground on Cosumnes River Tuesday at home at 3 p.m. before heading to Diablo Valley College for a doubleheader March 31.
For more info on SCC softball, visit www.sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/sball.