The Pirate softball team defeated Antelope Valley in game two of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs, 5-4 Saturday afternoon at the VC Softball Complex, forcing a winner-take-all game three match-up with the Marauders. Unfortunately, VC could not keep the momentum going, falling to the visitors 10-0 in the series finale. AVC moves on to the SoCal Super Regionals while the Pirates (29-11) have their season come to a close.
Ventura 5, Antelope Valley 4 (Game 2)
The Pirates extended the series with a solid game-two victory. Anissa Padilla was 2-3 at the plate with two runs scored and a run batted in while Celeste Ekman also had two hits, including a double, with an RBI. Adriana Clemons also knocked out two hits while scoring a run for the Pirates in the game. Padilla picked up the victory in the circle, yielding four runs while striking out five.
THe Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Padilla led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Ekman. one batter later Megan Best singled home Padilla for the 1-0 VC advantage.
AVC came back with a controversial run in the top of the third. On a single to right field, the Marauder's base runner attempted to score from second base. The relay throw home arrived in plenty of time for VC catcher Danielle Carmona to put the tag down on the play at the plate. The umpire indicated Carmona was juggling the ball, ruling the baserunner safe, and the game was tied at 1-1.
Padilla pitched out of trouble in the fourth inning with two K's to end the inning with two base runners, and also was able to overcome a lead-off triple by the Marauders in the fifth inning without allowing a score.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirate bats arrived in force. With two outs, Clemons singled and Kayla Garcia reached base on an error. Arianna Rivas followed with a base hit to score Clemons, then Padilla had a base knock for an RBI. Ekman and Brittney Banales also followed with RBI singles and the Pirates had a 5-1 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Antelope Valley rallied, scoring three runs before Sophie Dahlstedt had leaping catch at second base to end the inning.
VC held off the Marauders in the top of the seventh, despite a lead-off single, claiming the 5-4 victory forcing a decisive game three.
Ventura 0, Antelope Valley 10 (Game 3)
The Pirates seemed to run out of steam in the third and decisive game of the series, falling by a 10-0 decision in five innings. VC had the bases loaded in the first, and had runners in scoring position in each frame through the fourth, but could not come up with the big hit. The defense also left the Pirates at times, recording three errors that resulted in five AVC unearned runs late in the game. Dahlstedt was 2-3 at the plate for Ventura while Garcia also reached base twice, with a hit and an error.
AVC opened the game with a bang, recording five runs in the top of the first inning on five hits and two walks.
Ventura seemed to respond in the bottom half of the frame. Dahlstedt opened with a single and Kaylee Neal followed with a sacrifice bunt. Clemons walked, as did Rivas an out later to load the bases. But VC could not come up with the big hit to start the comeback.
Best came on in relief in the circle, shutting down the Marauders for the next two frames, but errors led to three unearned AVC runs in the forth to put the game away.
Banales walked in the second inning, but was stranded at second base. Garcia had a double in the third inning, but also was stranded on base. In the fourth, VC had two walks and an infield single to load the bases, but did not score, once again.
AVC plated another two unearned runs in the fifth inning to set the final 10-0 margin.
The Pirates end the season with a mark of 29-11. They finished a strong second place in the Western State Conference North Division. Additionally, Saturday's victory in game two was the program's first win in Round 1 of the playoffs since the beginning of the best-of-three format in 2004.