Roughriders softball keeps cruising, extends win streak to 14
Junior College Softball
TUCSON — Yavapai College, the hottest softball team in the ACCAC, extended its 2019 season-long winning streak to 14 with a doubleheader sweep of rival Pima Community College on Saturday, March 16, at the West Campus Aztec Softball Field.
With an 11-0 victory in a run-ruled five innings in the first game and a 4-3 win in extra innings in the second contest, the NJCAA Division I No. 8-ranked Roughriders kept the pressure on D-I conference frontrunner and No. 7-ranked Arizona Western College.
Yavapai improved to 16-2 in conference (25-3), while Arizona Western upped its mark to 19-1 in the league (28-2) by sweeping a doubleheader at Eastern Arizona College.
Pima dropped to 14-13 and 10-10.
The Roughriders, who have yet to play at home this season due to wet weather, haven’t lost since suffering a twin-bill sweep Feb. 9 at Arizona Western. Weather permitting, Yavapai is scheduled to play host to the Matadors at noon and 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in the rematch at Bill Vallely Field in Prescott.
In Game 1 on Saturday, the Roughriders scored four runs in the fourth inning and seven runs in the fifth en route to the rout of the Aztecs. Yavapai plated its 11 runs on 10 hits, committing one error in the field to Pima’s four.
Roughriders starting pitcher Shaye Pinner notched the win, hurling a complete-game shutout in five frames. She allowed four hits while striking out 10 and issuing no walks.
In the tide-turning fifth, Brianna Griffiths, Shaylee Alani, Kylie Brown, Alexus Garza and Gabie Krueger all registered RBIs. Jessica Giacoma blistered a grand slam in the fourth inning that got the rally going.
Brown, Giacoma, Garza and Alani finished with two hits apiece.
In the second game, Yavapai trailed 3-2 until the sixth inning, when the Roughriders tied the contest at 3-3 and sent it to an extra frame.
In the top of the eighth inning, Brown doubled on a 1-0 count to plate the go-ahead and, eventually, winning run.
To start the game, Pima snared a 3-2 lead in the second inning when Devynn Marshall hit an RBI double. But in the sixth, Yavapai knotted it at 3-3 on Giacoma’s sacrifice fly.
Pinner again led the Roughriders on the pitcher’s slab, surrendering one hit in three innings of relief, while striking out four and issuing a walk.
Kendra Duran started for Yavapai, allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings before giving way to Pinner.
At the dish, Neenah Pangilinan ripped a homer in the first inning — one of Yavapai’s seven hits for the game. Alani, Brown and Pangilinan finished with two hits apiece.
The Roughriders are scheduled to play 14 straight games at home, starting with a conference twin bill at noon and 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, versus Chandler-Gilbert Community College (14-12, 12-10 ACCAC) at Bill Vallely Field in Prescott.
Pima visits Mesa CC (12-12, 8-12) for a doubleheader at 1 and 3 p.m. March 19.
Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.