By Hector Ibanez
The Glendale Community College softball team holds a current record of 23-27 overall and 16-24 within their conference. It’s safe to say the 2014 season has been full of ups and downs.
Over the course of the campaign, the lady Gauchos have been known to be a streaky team. For example, they hold 4 sets of losing streaks of consisting of 4 games or more. Also, they have the same amount of streaks on the winning side.
With season coming to a close, the Glendale Gauchos played host to the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes in 2-game set on April 22. In the first contest, the Gauchos struggled to get things going as they committed 3 errors and put up 1 run, thus losing the game 4-1.
The second was a compete different story. In the top of the first inning, the Scottsdale Artichokes got off to a fast start as they opened the game with a 4-0 lead. That would not last long as the lady Gauchos rallied to tie the game thanks to RBI’s from Chihiro Furuta and Cecilia Madrid. After that, the score was 4-2 was runner on base and Nicole Himes up to bat. A few pitches into her at-bat, Himes hit a 2-run homerun deep down to center field and tying the game at 4 runs apiece.
After an inning of inactivity, Scottsdale Community College managed to get players on second and third base thus setting up a scoring opportunity for #1. #1 was able to hit a single and earned a RBI in the process. The score was 5-4 in favor of the Artichokes.
The lady Gauchos responded with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning as Nicole Himes earned a base hit allowing a run to score tying the game at 5 runs apiece. Later on in the inning, Chelsie Goddard was up to bat with the bases loaded. The Scottsdale pitcher then threw a wild pitch of the catcher’s head and allowed another run to come home. The score was now in favor of Glendale at 6-5. As Goddard was later walked, the bases were once again loaded for Kylie Andrus. She then hit a single, but Scottsdale caught the runner resulting in an out. With runners still on first and second base, Tori Ortiz earned a base hit allowing a run to come in as the Gauchos extended their lead 7-5 heading into the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Scottsdale Artichokes were not able to capitalize on a bases loaded situation as the score still remained 7-5. The lady Gauchos also weren’t able to extend their lead in the bottom half of the fourth.
Chelsie Goddard added to her already spectacular performance as she opened the fifth inning with a leadoff double. With Goddard on second, Kylie Andrus hit a perfectly placed bunt directly in front of home base as she sprinted towards first base and called safe. As Tori Pogue was up to bat, Andrus takes a chance and successfully steals second base. Pogue hit sacrifice ground ball that allowed 1 run to come in making the score 8-5 for the lady Gauchos.
The Fighting Artichokes were not able to get anything going in the top of the sixth; the Gauchos were up to bat. The bottom of the sixth began with a leadoff double by Sianna Gomez and followed by single by Rebecca Burkland. After Cecilia Madrid struck out, runners were on first and third base as Nicole Himes was to bat. Himes hit a double that allowed 1 run to come in as Glendale seemed to be running away with the game with the score at 9-5. The lady Gauchos went on to score yet another run making it 10-5 heading into the seventh inning.
The Fighting Artichokes truly lived up to their name as they fought their way back from a 5-run deficit to tie the ball game and send it into the bottom of the seventh inning.
With the momentum going Scottsdale’s way, Glendale kept their composer. The inning began with a base hit from Tori Ortiz and after Pogue struck out, Chihiro Furuta and Sianna Gomez earned a singles. The bases were now loaded for Rebecca Burkland. With only 1 out she was in the perfect position to win the game. She then hit sacrifice fly ball to left field which allowed the winning run to come home. The Gauchos avoided the cataclysmic meltdown as they won 11-10.