JUCO Softball: Gavilan struggles continue in loss to MPC

Gavilan coach Nikki Dequin chats with pitcher Victoria Lobos and catcher Adrianna Ortega in the top of the second inning of Tuesday's game against Monterey Peninsula College.

GILROY—Tuesday’s game quickly spiraled out of the Rams’ control, and by the time they got a handle on it, it was too late.
Gavilan dropped its sixth straight contest, falling 10-1 in five innings to Monterey Peninsula College at home. It’s the fourth game out of the Rams’ last five that has been cut short due to the mercy rule.
“Honestly right now I’m a little frustrated, but I do want to preface that with we’ve got a great group of young ladies. It’s just that we are going through an extremely rough spot right now,” Gavilan coach Nikki Dequin said.
Gavilan’s lone run came in the bottom of the fourth, when Erica Baxter hit a sacrifice fly to score Mari Rodriguez from third base.
Rodriguez led the Rams, going 1 for 4 with a double and run scored. Brittani Newman was also 1 for 2 and had a walk and a stolen base. Gavilan combined for just three hits against MPC, the other belonging to Samantha Parraz, who was 1 for 2.
“I don’t think we’re making adjustments (at the plate) and we’re making errors we shouldn’t be making,” Newman said. “We’re just in our heads too much. People are struggling at bat and we’re not adjusting or fixing it.”
The Lobos quickly jumped on Gavilan, putting up four runs in the top of the first inning. Samantha Luna led off with a single and was brought home by Corina Salinas, who hit a hard line drive to centerfield. Rachel DiMaggio then singled to right-center putting runners on the corners for MPC. Justine Armento followed-up with an RBI-single to score Salinas, putting her team up 2-0. Jordan Larson-Summers blasted a double to the left corner, pushing DiMaggio and Armento across the plate for the final runs of the inning.
MPC added three more in both the second and third innings and got through its entire batting order in both the first and second innings. Seven batters made a plate appearance for the Lobos in the third.
Luna scored on a wild pitch in the second, to put her team up 5-0. Salinas tripled to deep right field and was brought home when Jannell Godfrey homered to left-centerfield.
A lead-off double from Luna put her in scoring position in the top of the third and she advanced on the next play. Salinas walked, putting runners on the corners for MPC. Godfrey doubled to left field to score both her teammates and came home two plays later off a Armento single for the Lobos’ final run.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Gavilan.
The Rams shined defensively, coming up with big plays to keep the game under control. Baxter robbed Natalie Allen of a base hit in the top of the fourth, grabbing a hard line drive at second base. Simpson and Rodriguez turned a double play in the same inning. Luna lined out to the shortstop Simpson and she turned to connect with Rodriguez at first base, catching MPC’s Victoria Smith as she was headed back to first.
“There’s games where the defense has been doing great, but the offense hasn’t,” Dequin said. “Then we’ll flip-flop and it’s really just trying to get every piece on the same page and if we could do that, we’d be great.”
Gavilan has struggled in the circle this season, which was a strong suite of last season’s Coast Conference championship team. But losing key pieces like ace Paige Miguel, who moved on to a four-year institution, has left the team lacking confidence in the early going.
“I don’t think we’re all on the same page, which is making it hard,” Gavilan’s Adrianna Ortega said. “I try to tell them to remember why you’re here and what made you start doing this. We’re not here to just waste our time. We obviously love it, but we have to remember that.”
Victoria Lobos was handed the loss in the circle after allowing 13 hits and two walks through five innings. She also struck out one.
The 4-14 Rams will look to right the ship when it hosts West Valley at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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