The Pirate softball team remained on pace in the Western State Conference North Division race Tuesday with a double-header sweep over Bakersfield. Ventura won decisions of 2-1 and 6-5, in nine innings, to keep within shouting distance of first place Hancock and to remain in a second place tie with Cuesta. Julianne Abeloe had four hits on the day with a pair of runs batted in while Brittany Perez totaled three hits with a walk-off hit in the nightcap.
Ventura 2, Bakersfield 1
Bakersfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, and the Pirates countered with single scores in the second and fourth frames. Anissa Padilla went the distance in the circle for the win. Celeste Ekman was 2-3 with a triple and Abeloe had a hit and an RBI. Padilla also knocked in a run for VC.
Ventura 6, Bakersfield 5
Ventura kept their WSC title hopes alive with the extra-inning thriller. The Renegades took a 2-0 lead in the first, and Ventura countered with a run in the bottom of the first and three in the second. BC closed to within 4-3 with a score in the fifth before the Pirates scored once in the bottom of the sixth. Bakersfield sent the game to extra's by plating two runs in the top of the seventh before VC won it with a walk off in the ninth.
Megan Best took over the pitching duties with two outs in the first inning, and went the distance. Perez had three hits in the game, including the walk-off single in the ninth. Abeloe was 3-6 with a double, triple and an RBI and Julianna Andrade was 2-4 with a pair of runs batted in.
Ventura (25-11, 16-5) remains two games behind first place Hancock in the loss column with three WSC North games remaining. The Bulldogs have four games left on their schedule. VC is also tied for second with Cuesta, but hold the tiebreaker against the Cougars, winning the season series, 2-1. Fourth-place Moorpark is still lurking at 14-6 in conference play and fifth-place Bakersfield, meanwhile, was eliminated from WSC contention with TUesday's losses.
The Pirates next host Santa Monica on Thursday April 20 at 2;30pm at the VC Softball Complex.