The Bakersfield College softball team punched its ticket to the second round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoffs with a two-game sweep of visiting Riverside City College. The sixth-seeded Renegades downed the No. 11 Tigers 5-3 on Saturday afternoon less than 24 hours after winning Game 1 of the best-of-three game series.
BC (33-9) will go on the road for Round 2 to play No. 3 Cypress in a best of three-game series, starting on Friday.
"It feels good because these kids have worked so hard and they've overcome a lot," BC coach Casey Goodman said. "There's a lot of stuff we've dealt with all year that any of them could have given up…They fought. They want to put Bakersfield College softball back on the map. We're on the road to doing that."
Despite having a pair of runs wiped away due to rules infractions, the Renegades gave First Team All-State pitcher Kylee Fahy more than enough run support to defeat a determined RCC squad. BC did most of its offensive damage in the fourth inning, scoring four times during the frame to take a 4-0 lead. After Fahy led off the inning with a single, Saidee Banuelos walked and then Yesenia Saldana hit a single to knock in the first run of the game. Four batters later Aryka Chavez drilled a two-out, bases loaded double into the right field corner, plating two more runs. The Renegades added one more run later in the frame on a wild pitch by Riverside starting pitcher Synphony Hall.
RCC (25-16) cut into BC's lead in the sixth inning on a two-run home run by Aeriel Carlson, who was hit in the face by errant pitch from Fahy earlier in the game. The Tigers scored one more run in the seventh inning on Fahy wild pitch, but one pitch later she struck out Lorena Fitch to end the game.
"I'm proud," Goodman said. "…We had a home run that got taken away because we had a strikeout the inning before that, that I didn't know was a strikeout. These kids overcame a lot. They never backed down. They never felt like we were in a corner and we came out on top." Fahy (30-6) finished with six strikeouts. The freshman right-hander allowed four hits.
BC's offense, which had seven hits, featured solid days by Chavez (2 for 4 with 2 RBI), Alexis Solis (1 for 2, 1 run scored and 2 walks), Fahy (1 for 2, 1 run scored and 2 walks), and Saldana (1 for 3 with 1 RBI).