Shannon Wilkison (File photo)
With the Southern California Regional playoffs starting May 7, the Saddleback College softball team took a tough blow against Palomar College on Saturday, losing 4-3.
Saddleback got off to a promising start with first baseman Mandy Gutierrez hitting a solo homerun in the first inning, but the Gauchos slowly gave up opportunities making it difficult to hold onto the lead.
The Gauchos managed to load the bases in the fourth and fifth innings, but were unable to find the clutch hits needed to knock in any runs.
In the sixth inning, Palomar began to pull away by scoring three runs to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Saddleback managed to inch closer in the seventh inning when they scored two runs on four singles by Christina Bolin, Chelsea Bertoglio, Shannon Wilkison, and Nicki Jacobucci, to make the score 4-3.
Despite the Gauchos solid effort at the plate, outhitting Palomar 11-7, the Gauchos could not manage to overcome Palomars timely hitting and the game ended with the score 4-3.
The loss drops Saddlebacks record to 19-13 overall, and 13-7 in Orange Empire Conference play. Saddleback is guaranteed third place in the OEC.
The Gauchos take on Fullerton today at 3 p.m. in the final conference game of the season
Once the season ends, Saddleback will await the results of the playoff seeding process to learn who their playoff opponent will be.