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

Chasing a conference title

City College Panthers softball team mates cheer on the action on the field Mar. 18 against San Joaquin Delta College. Photo by || Allison Valenzuela || [email protected]

The City College softball team came into the March 18 game in Union Stadium tied with San Joaquin Delta College for the No. 2 spot in the Big 8 Conference.

Before the matchup, center fielder Melissa Hartkop had this to say: “I feel like it is going to be tough because Delta’s a good team.”

This game was going to play a big role in who could possibly over come conference leader Sierra College for the Big 8 Conference Title.

Before the game, Connie Allen, the mother to starting pitcher Courtney Allen, simply said, “If we do everything right, we’re going to win it.”

In the first inning, Courtney Allen came out aggressively challenging batters at the plate but had a rocky start before settling in and locating her pitches.

Allen let the lead-off hitter on base with a single, but soon found her rhythm.

The next three batters all grounded out to get Allen out of the inning.

In the bottom of the first, Delta pitching ace Alaina Shull came out with intensity but hit Courtney Allen, the first batter up, with a pitch. Courtney Allen.

Shull followed up by striking out catcher Jamie Lowery, before giving up an error-ruled double to Andrea Argee.

Hartkop fell victim to another errant pitch by Shull to load the bases.

Right fielder Lauren Limey battled it out with Shull and eventually got the better of the exchange by getting walked to first. Starting pitcher Courtney Allen crossed home plate to score a the first run of the game.

With the bases loaded, the Delta pitcher, who in previous encounters had given City College fits at the plate, showed that glimpse of brilliance by striking out shortstop Genna Allen and forcing the ground out by Victoria Sendejas.  Shull got out of the inning with the Panthers leaving three stranded.

Allen came out on a mission in the top of the second inning, getting two strikeouts and forcing the other batter to ground out to third.

Shull was not to be shown up, as she picked up where she left off allowing one batter to reach base off a bunt, before relinquishing the side with the last batter of the inning going down looking at a strike.

The third inning brought more of the same, with both pitchers bringing their best stuff and getting out the inning without giving up a run.

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City College Panthers softball pitcher, Courtney Allen, pitching Mar. 18 against San Joaquin Delta College. Photo by || Allison Valenzuela || [email protected]

Letisha Vaba came up with a solid hit double, that allowed Shull to score, but Vaba got caught between second and third base for an out.  But Delta had done the damage, tying the game at 1-1 going into the fourth inning.

In an interview after the game, head coach Robert Maglione said “patience at the plate” was the deciding factor.

“We had faced the Delta pitcher (Shull) before and we swung at a lot of non-strikes,” Maglione said.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Katie Campbell led off the inning with a walk. Jackie Kataoka was hit by a pitch, Jamie Lowery was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Andrea Argee hit a two-run error-ruled double.

After Hartkop popped out, Limey hit an RBI single to put the Panthers up 5-1 before the inning ended on a double play ball hit by Genna Allen.

In the top of the fifth inning, Courtney Allen continued her dominance and got Delta College to go three up, three down.

“It was obvious we came ready to play today,” Maglione said. “We have a philosophy if we have the chance to runrule somebody we will try to somehow.”

The score now 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, City College needed only one run to run-rule Delta and end the game when Andrea Argee came up to bat with runners on first and second.

The crowd was in awe as the umpire called a strike on what to everyone else on the City College side saw as a ball. That would have allowed Argee to be walked and load the bases.

On a 3-1 count, Argee hit the ball deep in the gap, both runners scored and Argee slid in for a game ending triple.

”It was a good feeling to beat ’em in five innings,” Argee said after the game.

“We knew we had to finish them off and send them home,” Maglione said. “Delta is a good team. If we let them, in the sixth and seventh inning they will come back.”

City College Panthers are eager to get a shot at Sierra College on April 10, and they are not looking past any opponents.

When asked what does she look forward to for the rest of this season, Argee said,”To beat ’em again. Everyone. Especially Sierra.”

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