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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College softball loses first 2 conference games
City College softball in their pre-game huddle before the doubleheader against American River College March 7. Kristopher Hooks // Sports Editor // [email protected]

Kristopher Hooks | Sports Editor | [email protected]

Panthers key player injured in doubleheader against ARC

City College softball started its Big 8 Conference play with two loses, 7-4 and 9-7, in a March 7 doubleheader against the American River College Beavers in what the coach deemed “mental” errors.

The Panthers hit well during the doubleheader — 17 combined hits — but according to head coach Tim Kiernan, the defense wavered in their decisions, which cost them both games.

“There was a lot of indecision today — we don’t practice indecision,” said Kiernan. “They made that judgment. I can’t play for them. They’re out there playing, and they’re playing hard, but a lot of times, mentally, they’re not playing hard.”

In Game 1 of the doubleheader, the Panthers fell behind fast and went down 6-1 after three innings. Starting pitcher Morgan Welch allowed six runs in the 2 2/3 innings she pitched before she was pulled for Jostyn Bebout. Bebout was more sound in her performance in the circle and allowed only one run in the rest of the game.

“In the first game, we gave them 12 base runners between five walks, six errors and one hit batter,” said Kiernan. “So that’s 12 base runners we gave them. That’s like giving them 12 extra hits. You can’t win ball games doing that.”

The Panthers began to rally late in the game and cut the lead to 7-4 in the seventh, but couldn’t complete the comeback. On the last play of the game, with two runners on base, the Panthers had another mental error that resulted in a double play.

Kiernan was perplexed after the game about his team’s mistake on the last play that resulted in the 7-4 loss.

“Why would you stay at second base? If it was a line drive, you stay at second base. If it was a pop fly, you stay at second base. Ground ball, you run. We didn’t run,” said Kiernan. “Then we decide to run, and it turned into a double play. That’s just mental. The whole day was mental. Just not very good.”

The Panthers seemed to bounce back from the loss in Game 1 and came out swinging in Game 2. Bebout’s strong performance in Game 1 carried over, and the offense connected on hits early. They took a 7-2 lead after the first four innings.

However, things started to go down hill for them in the sixth inning, and the Beavers began to rally. Bebout seemed to have been fatigued, and more mental errors began to plague the defense. The Beavers scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-7 lead.
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Welch replaced Bebout in the circle with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth inning. The Beavers went on to score one more run in the inning, and the Panthers couldn’t respond.

“With [Game 2], we’ve had a hard time closing, and once we get a lead, we sit too much on it,” said Kiernan. “We probably will have to make some changes in the lineup, but I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Panthers’ redshirt freshman Erikka Burke led the team on the day with three hits and five RBIs, including a two-run home run in Game 2. Aaliyah Oliver had two RBIs, and Kaitlyn Leffle and Riley Ammaturo — who hit a home run in Game 2 — each had one RBI on the day.

City College, though, lost more than just the two games. Sophomore Noelani Kakalia — who hit a home run in Game 1 — left Game 2 with back spasms. Kakalia had been suffering from back spasms since the 2014 season and even missed some time in the beginning of the 2015 season.

Kakalia is a powerful hitter for the Panthers and was second on the team with eight home runs in 2014. In the six games she played this season, she had two home runs, 11 RBIs and .615 batting average.

“She can hit, but I don’t know how much we’re going to have her here this year,” said Kiernan. “I probably need to just think that we’re not going to have her and have somebody else in that position. That’s probably the best thing to do.”

The Panthers will look to bounce back from their weekend losses when they continue their Big 8 Conference play March 10 at home against Diablo Valley College.

For more information about City College softball, visit


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