Tuesday, April 5th, the 49’rs softball team walked on to their field a losing team. Over half way through the season, they had yet to win a game. They were set to play a double- header against the Los Medanos Mustangs. Yuba lost the first game, but found their first win of the season in the second game.
The first was typical of this season. Spirits were high at the beginning, and there was plenty of energy amongst the team. Each team scored one run in the first inning and zero runs in the second inning. In the third inning, the Mustangs got one run, leaving a close score of 1 to 2. It was not yet an unwinnable game for Yuba College.
During the fourth inning, however, Los Medanos scored nine runs. Kayla Cunha, pitcher for the 49’rs, seemed to be tiring and pitched quite a few balls. Third baseman, Jackie Sizemore made a quick decision that prevented yet another run— knowing there was only time for one out, she opted to send the ball to catcher Emiley Correa to out the runner coming home instead of the runner coming to third base. Regardless, the Mustangs now led by ten points.
Yuba managed one more run in the fifth inning, and although Los Medanos got no more runs, the game was cut short using the “mercy rule,” which prevents a team from getting a humiliating loss.
Between games, Yuba decided that they would use the very thing that had handicapped them in the first game to their advantage in the second—Jozette Velasquez of the Mustangs was a really slow pitcher. During the first game they didn’t adjust to the slow pitches, which caused them to bat badly. They recognized this and paced themselves, allowing for greatly improved batting in the second game.
Cunha got a second wind in her pitching while Velasquez pitched balls often, allowing too many of the 49’rs to walk, a few times with bases loaded.
The second inning largely decided the game. The 49’rs scored eight runs, giving them a 9 to 3 lead. Two runs were forced due to walks when bases were loaded. One run was stolen, and Shelby De Leon brought two runners home in one play.
Over the next five innings each team got only one more run. Yuba played spectacular defense, and won the game 10 to 4.
You can see for yourself if this was their first win of many, as the softball team plays at home against Napa Valley College on April 14th at 1pm.