Hosting Taft College in Thursday’s doubleheader at Pershing Park, the Santa Barbara City College softball team scored five runs in the seventh inning of game one to claim its first win of the year, 6-5. Both teams racked up the hits in the second game, which went Taft’s way, 11-5.
Through three games, the Vaqueros (1-2) have now scored 12 of their 19 runs in the seventh inning.
Santa Barbara gave up two runs on three hits to start the game, but cut into the lead in the bottom of the opening inning. Shortstop Naveah Freitas led off with a single through the right side. Center fielder Natalie Depasquale put her on second with a sac bunt, and catcher Linnéa Sandahi recorded her first RBI of the season with a single to left.
A three-run fifth inning extended Taft’s (2-3) lead to 5-1, but the Cougars would leave runners on base in each of the last five.
The defense managed to give SBCC a chance to steal the game late. Pitcher Lauren Indermuehle (1-1) entered the game at the top of the fourth and tossed a Vaquero season-best six strikeouts the rest of the way.
Needing four runs to extend the game, the Vaqueros loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. The comeback started rolling thanks to a Taft error, which brought in a run from first baseman Jade Loeffler.
Left fielder Sarah Hammons followed with a single to right, bringing in two more runs and making it a 5-4 game. Suddenly, the Vaqueros found themselves in position to win it. After opening the game with an RBI single, Sandahi would provide the late-game fireworks, hitting a hard shot straight up the middle to bring Depasquale and Hammonds home for the walk-off win.
The Vaqueros ended with a 9-8 advantage in the hit department, as Freitas, Hammonds and Sandahi all finished with two.
For the first time in 2022, the Vaqueros would strike first, riding their momentum from the previous game to a 2-0 start through one inning.
Facing two outs, it was Sandahi doing the honors once again, blasting a triple into left field as Freitas scored. Sandahi tallied her first run of the year on a double from first baseman Alyssa Perez on the next at bat.
Unfortunately for the Vaqueros, they would be outscored 8-0 before getting on the board again. Perez tripled to right and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth, but Taft still led 11-3.
SBCC found itself with another mountain to climb in the seventh inning, and responded with four hits. Sandahi notched her second straight three-RBI game, singling to left center to score runs from right fielder Isabella Huckaby and Depasquale, but that was the last time the home side would do damage.
The Cougars went for 13 hits, compared to SBCC’s season-high of 12. Indermuehle and Hammonds split time in the circle, striking out three batters apiece.
The Vaqueros will host a second straight doubleheader today against San Bernardino Valley. The first game is slated to start at noon.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.