The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Softball loses Game 1 in first round of playoffs

City College head coach Tim Kiernan acknowledges the two-run homer by Taylor McDowell freshman infielder in the bottom of the third in the first game in the best of three series in the first round against Shasta College of the Northern Regional playoffs at The Yard May 2. Dianne Rose/[email protected]

Kristopher Hooks | Sports Editor | [email protected]

Panthers drop first of best-of-three series

Things got interesting in the top of the sixth inning in the May 2 softball playoff game against Shasta College. The umpires blew a crucial call that turned the game’s momentum the Knights’ way.

With the second baseman forced to run, Panthers’ first baseman Erikka Burke threw to third base. Shortstop Kailey Olcott had her foot on the bag to get the force out, but after a conference between the umpires, the runner was ruled safe. The blown call led to three more runs in the inning, and Shasta took a 9-5 lead.

In the end, City College dropped Game 1 in a best-of-three series in the California Community College Athletic Association Regional Playoffs against the Shasta College Knights in a hard fought 11-9 battle.

Head coach Tim Kiernan was critical of the umpires’ call after the game.

“That was horrible, but what can you do?” said Kiernan. “The trouble is, with the umpires in a three-man system, they don’t work it enough, and they’re all watching one play and not watching any where else — and that’s the point of a three-man system.

“We would’ve been better on that play having two umpires than having someone right there. That was the difference probably.”

After two scoreless innings at the beginning of the game, Taylor McDowell, City College’s leading hitter of the day, hit a two-run shot over the left field fence, putting the Panthers up 2-0.

Shasta didn’t back down. The Knights scored three runs to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth. In the inning, Shasta’s Kayla Spini hit an RBI single, and Katrina Barron hit a two-run double.

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There was a lot of back-and-forth battling between the two teams, which led to three lead changes between the third and sixth innings. The Panthers tied the game 9-9 in the bottom of the sixth, but couldn’t respond after Shasta scored AP 2 runs in the top of the seventh.

“I think we hit the ball better than they did, but they had some timely flares and some timely calls,” said Kiernan. “I thought we hit the ball pretty hard, but this is a game of bounces, and today it bounced their way.”

McDowell got the better of Knights’ pitcher Hailee Nichols on the day and went 4-4 with four RBIs to lead the Panthers in hitting. According to McDowell, Nichols pitched well, but she envisioned a big ball all game and it helped her get confident.

“When I woke up this morning, I wanted to see the ball like a beach ball, and that’s what I tried to do today, and it worked out for me,” said McDowell.

The Panthers faced off against the Knights May 3 at City College for Games 2 and 3 of the series.

“Everyday is a different day,” said Kiernan about Game 2. “I know we’ll hit well, and if we play catch, we’ll prevail. If we don’t, we won’t. Simple game.”


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