The Pirate softball team completed its regular season i fine fashion Tuesday afternoon, shutting out host Santa Barbara 8-0 in a five-inning contest. Anissa Padilla recorded her second straight 5-inning shutout, allowing just three hits to the Vaqueros while striking out three. Sophie Dahlstedt and Kaylee Neal both had two hits and each scored a run in the victory for Ventura (28-9, 12-2). The Pirates finish the season in second place in the Western State Conference North Division and await their playoff seeding.
Ventura opened the game with three unearned runs in he first inning. Dahlstedt walked to open the game, and Neal followed with a bunt single as Dahlstedt advanced to third base. After Neal stole second, Adriana Clemons reached base on an error that scored both runners on base. Kayla Garcia then reached base on a fielder's choice and stole second before Arianna Rivas had a sacrifice foul out to score Clemons.
The Pirates followed with three more runs in the second frame. Brittney Banales walked, and two outs later, Clemons singled her home. Garcia then singled before Rivas singled home Clemons. Rivas then got caught in a pickle between first and second base, during which, Garcia scored from third base before the final out of the inning.
VC then closed out the run-rule game with two more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Rivas and Padilla opened the inning with a pair of walks, and Celeste Ekman sacrificed the two ahead one base. Danielle Carmona then singles to left to score Rivas, and Banales grounded out to score Padilla for the 8-0 final score.
Rivas finished the game with one hit, one run scored and two runs batted in while Clemons scored twice with one hit and one RBI.
The Pirates close the regular season with a 28-9 overall record, 12-2 in the WSC North Division behind first place Bakersfield. VC will look to host its first playoff series since 2012 if they can secure a top-8 seed in the SoCal Regional Playoffs. The playoffs begin Tuesday May 1 with regional play-in games before the best-of-three first round series begin Friday May 4.