On a cool Friday afternoon, the lady Raiders took on their battered opponents, the Highline Thunderbirds. The Raiders won the game 10 to 1 in five innings despite having three errors as a team.
Starting for the Raiders was Katie O’Brien who pitched the first three frames. At times, O’Brien looked dominant against her opponents. She hit her spots throughout the contest raking up 6 strikeouts.
O’Brien gave up one unearned in the third inning. Ashley Denbrock playing shortstop pulled Shannon Reed off the bag to allow the runner on base. The next hitter smoked a double into to right-center but a quick recovery by Marissa Poole held the lead runner at third.
O’Brien quickly composed herself and got the next two hitters out, striking out one batter. With two outs, Melissa Ramos made a great backhanded snag on a hard hit ball up the middle and threw a bullet to Reed. The field umpire called the runner safe on a close play and allowed the runner to score. O’Brien picked her teammates up and got a strikeout for the final out ending her day on the mound.
The major highlight of the day was Poole making her pitching debut.
“We want to get some of the young girls in there before the NWAACC tournament,” assistant coach Mike Nelson said before the game. “It’s a way to rest our top three pitchers as well as get them in there.”
Coach Nelson noted that Poole had a great change-up that fooled even Pierce’s best hitters during practice. Poole’s change-up was not “great” but nasty, constantly fooling hitters and generating consistent swings and misses. When they did make contact on her pitches, it was weak contact and resulted in a quick out. It was a great first showing for a player with a bright future with Pierce’s softball program.
The offense started off quickly by sending 13 players to the plate in the first inning and scoring seven runs. Becca Cable started things off by making the Thunderbirds pay for poor defense. Cable was able to make it to third when the centerfield misplayed a line drive near the fence.
Both Ramos and Candice Vela showed clutch hitting with each having a two-out, two RBI single in the first. They brought in a combined seven runs for the team at the bottom of the order as well as playing smart defense.
Highline had to forfeit the second game due to having only nine players and a pitcher being shelved for the rest of the season.
“It’s not the desired result the team wants,” Duncan Stevenson, Pierce College athletic director said before the game.
Candice Vela: 2-2, 4 RBI, 1 Run, and a sacrifice fly
Melissa Ramos: 3-3, 3 RBI, 2 Runs, stolen base
Merissa Poole: 2-3, 2 Runs, double, 2 innings pitched with one strikeout
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