YUMA, Ariz. – Two softball games. Two entirely different wins. The Arizona Western College softball team topped Mesa Community College 2-0 and 11-4 on Tuesday afternoon in Yuma.
In game one, Allison Betty drove in both runs for AWC (33-20 overall, 25-19 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) in what proved to be a pitcher’s duel.
In the top of the first inning, the leadoff hitter smashed the first pitch she saw over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. It was her eighth homer of the season.
In the fifth, Caylin Espericueta lined a single to right-center field. Then Betty came up and drove a double to right-center that scored Espericueta from first for a 2-0 lead. Betty was 2-3 with two extra-base hits and two RBI in the game.
Belinda Gonzalez (18-10) earned the win after escaping two jams in the last two innings to preserve a shutout. In the sixth, Mesa hit three straight singles to load the bases with no outs (two were infield singles), but Gonzalez struck out two and induced a popup to get out of it. In the seventh, Mesa hit back-to-back singles, but Gonzalez again retired the next three batters to keep Mesa from scoring. She allowed eight hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out five.
Emerald Grijalva (11-10) took the loss for Mesa (20-29 overall, 15-27 ACCAC). She allowed two runs in six innings. She walked one without a strikeout.
Game two seemed headed for double digits when the two teams combined for seven runs in the first inning. The Lady Mats piled up 18 hits, and Gabby Ramirez led the way with five RBI and two doubles.
Mesa jumped out to a 3-0 lead after half an inning when Marissa Ibarra singled home two runs. One batter later, Leighann Ballesteros doubled her home.
Arizona Western answered by sending nine to the plate and scoring four. Betty and Sally Gastelo both singled, and Julie Roach sent a line drive down the right field line to score Betty. With runners on second and third, Nadia Hernandez drove a double off the left field wall to tie the game. She raced home when Gabby Ramirez slipped a single through the left side of the infield for a 4-3 lead.
In the second inning, AWC kept the pressure on. Betty singled to start the half inning. She went first to third while Gastelo beat out a bunt single. Mesa’s first baseman threw to third, but Betty was safe while the throw went into left field and allowed her to score (while Gastelo headed to second). Roach then crushed a home run to straightaway center field that extended the lead to 7-3. It was her 13th homer of the year.
With two on and two out in the fourth inning, Ramirez swatted a two-run double that extended the lead to 9-3.
Mesa answered with one run in the fifth. Ibarra doubled to start the inning. With two outs, she came home on an error at first base that cut the lead to 9-4.
AWC plated two more runs in the sixth inning. Ramirez again knocked in two runs with a double for an 11-4 lead.
Karly Turner (5-5) picked up the win in the circle. She allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings. The sophomore walked two while striking out one.
Gaby Lopez (4-9) took the loss for Mesa. She allowed seven runs on nine hits and pitched into the second inning.
The Lady Mats host GateWay Community College on Saturday afternoon. The doubleheader starts at noon, and admission is FREE!
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.