Gaucho’s softball wins by mercy rule against OCC

3/2/2011 1 (Austin Messick)

Austin Messick

After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Saddleback women’s softball team rallied back to defeat Orange Coast College via the mercy rule 10-2 in the fifth inning last Wednesday.

This was the fourth game won by way of the mercy rule this year for the Gauchos, and improved their record to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the Orange Empire Conference. The gauchos displayed strong batting skills with 12 hits and nine RBIs in the game.

“We have one of the best hitting teams so we just come out and try to hit,” said outfielder Shannon Wilkison, sophomore.

The Gauchos trailed early after OCC’s Summer Comstock hit a two-run home run off freshman pitcher Mandy Gutierrez in the first inning, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. After the early scores, Gutierrez was able to prevent the Pirates from further advancing their lead, holding the Pirates to four hits in four innings.

“I just focused on one batter at a time, I let the past go,” said Gutierrez, “like that home run, and it was pretty much just staying focused and not letting your emotions get in the way.”

Saddleback scored its first run in the first inning due to OCC pitcher Cheyanne Flores walking Chelsea Bertoglio with the bases loaded, bringing in Gutierrez. The Gauchos then mounted a powerful offensive attack against the Pirates in the third inning.

With two outs and Putkamer on second, Baldridge hit a fly ball over the head of OCC third baseman Danielle Gallarzo to bring in Putkamer for the Gauchos’ second run. Later, with the bases loaded, Wilkison hit a two-run RBI on a hard ground ball to right field, elevating the score to 4-2. Gutierrez then hit another RBI, and after Flores threw a wild pitch to Nicki Jacobucci, Wilkison stole home plate to lift the final third-inning score to 6-2.

The Gauchos scored three more runs in the fifth inning through RBIs by Putkamer, Bertoglio and Baldridge, elevating the final score to 10-2, resulting in the game ending via the mercy rule.

“It’s a pretty typical game, I mean we hit that’s our strength, and I’m just surprised we didn’t hit any home runs today,” said Coach Nick Trani. “But in a way its good, because every game we’ve hit a home run at least and that’s good that we can score 10 runs without having to hit a home run.”

The Gauchos look to continue their winning ways against OEC rival Fullerton College at Fullerton College this afternoon at 3 p.m.

3/2/2011 2 (Austin Messick)