By Stacy Damitio
The Lady Gauchos initially came out strong during their first game of the doubleheader against number one Central Arizona Community Colleges Vaqueras. The first inning the Gauchos led with a score of 2-0.
The fourth inning catcher Morgan Desaulniers smacked a long homerun over the centerfield fence scoring two runs, extending their lead to 4-0.
The Vaqueras were quick to answer back with a line shot up third base, putting runners on first and second base. With two outs, #17 strode to the plate and slapped a homerun over the right field fence, narrowing the score to 4-3.
The Lady Gauchos continued to battle when Brooke Willamson hit a solo homerun to left field, adding another run to the board for a score of 5-3.
The sixth inning it became apparent the Vaqueras had enough of lagging on the scoreboard. With a runner on first and no outs, a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher advanced the runner to second.
With a runner in scoring position, the next hit bounced off the 200 ft. sign in left field scoring a run. The gap was now closing with a score of 5-4.
With runners now on first and second, GCC coaches decided to intentionally walk the Vacqueras power hitter, loading the bases.
The Lady Gauchos were visibly shaken, the next batter walked, evening the score 5-5.
The game changed with the next swing of the bat, which was a grand slam to left field giving the Vaqueras a comfortable lead of 5-9. The batter was aided by the incompetence of the umpires who refused to call her being a good foot out of the box, allowing her to get to the pitch before it breaks.
“Umpires never call that,” said Head Coach Rebecca Shaw.
Although pitcher Rocque Parker put up a valiant fight, she was pulled out of the game. Nancy Figueroa comes in walking the first batter she faces. Finding her groove, she struck out the second the last out coming with a fly out to right field.
Unfortunately, the damage was done and the Lady Gauchos lost 5-9.
“Last time we faced Central they kicked our [butts] twice,” Coach Shaw said.
The second game was a slugfest. The Gauchos seem to lose their fire, and it played out on the field.
“I feel like they jumped on us early in the game,” said Niki Turnbough, sophomore pitcher.
The Vaqueras seemed to find every hole on the field dropping the ball there, giving them the advantage.
It was one homerun after another for the Vaqueras, and with each hit over the fence, the GCC dugout, normally full of chatter, became more silent. The Vaqueras volume was turned up until they were all that was heard.
GCC failed to capitalize on a few missed opportunities while on offense.
“We have a hard time coming back in situations like that,” said Coach Shaw.
After a series of homeruns and RBI’s for the Vaqueras, they shut out the Lady Gauchos with a painful score of 13-0.
The Lady Gauchos are not out of contention. All the teams are evenly matched, the next two games on April 2 and April 4 will be the must win games of the season.
“We have great team chemistry,” said Turnbough.
The Lady Gauchos are hoping this will be enough to spur them into contention. The odds will be in their favor if they can stay motivated in the chance they fall behind.
By Stacy Damitio