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 eliminated from playoffs after losing series 2-1
City College head coach Tim Kiernan talks with first base umpire Pete Dufour about a call in the third game in the best of three against Shasta College in the first round of the Northern Regional playoffs at The Yard May 3. Dianne Rose/[email protected]

Kristopher Hooks | Sports Editor | [email protected]

Controversial calls lead to an abrupt end of Panthers’ season

Much like Game 1 of the best-of-three playoff series, the Games 2 and 3 were riddled with missed, botched and blown calls by the officiating crew. Many of the calls by the umpires were contested from both teams, and there were many conferences among the crew.

The biggest blown call on the day came in the fifth inning of deciding Game 3. With runners on first and second for Shasta, Leah Holland hit a ground ball to third base. Panthers’ third baseman Taylor McDowell fielded the ball and tossed it to shortstop Kailey Olcott for the routine force out at third base.

The third base umpire called the runner out at third, but after Shasta head coach Sonny Stupek appealed the call, the call was over turned, and the runner was ruled safe. Shasta went on to score four runs in the inning to take a 7-6 lead.

“I think it’s because of the three-man system,” said City College head coach Tim Kiernan. “They’re not used to, so they’re always thinking that someone else is going to make the call for them. I mean, I’m not trying to get on these guys, but man.”

City College faced elimination coming into the day, and defeated Shasta College 6-3 in Game 2. However, Shasta won Game 3, 13-8 and eliminated the Panthers to advance to the California Community College Athletic Association’s Super Regional Playoffs

“I don’t even know what to say about this series,” said first baseman Erikka Burke. “I think we choked yesterday and we didn’t put our full potential in it. We realized it today, but we came up short. We came out hot in the second game, but things happened, calls were made and it just fell apart.”

The Panthers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2 after Burke hit an RBI single that brought home McDowell. The score should have been 2-0, but the umpires mistakenly called the second runner, Aaliyah Oliver, out at home.

Burke and Emily Murphy hit RBI singles in the third to take a 3-0 lead.

Panthers starting pitcher Jostyn Bebout threw four no-hit innings before allowing a double in the fifth inning. She almost pitched a shutout, but she allowed a three-run homer to Kayla Spini in the sixth.

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Shasta couldn’t respond in the seventh inning, and the Panthers forced a Game 3.

“I knew we were going to be playing three games — two today,” said Kiernan. “Just based on their will.”

There was early back-and-forth in Game 3, and the Panthers took a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning. After the questionable calls from the officiating crew in the fifth inning, Shasta kept their momentum going and scored six runs in the sixth inning to run away with the victory.

McDowell led the team in hitting during the series and went 7 for 9 at the plate with two homeruns and six RBIs. Abi Lund went 5 for 10 including a home run and three RBIs.

The Panthers finished the season with a 25-15 record, including the playoff games. In the regular season, they held a team batting average of .310 and led the Big 8 Conference in homeruns (30), slugging percentage (.487) and stolen bases (115).

“I’m sad that we’re losing some of these kids, but they’re going to do well,” said Kiernan. “They’re on scholarship and going to a four-year school, and they’re going to be very good.

“I’m excited about the ones coming in and I’m also excited about the ones coming in back and seeing what they can contribute and how much they learned.”


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