YUMA, Ariz. – Tuesday afternoon the Arizona Western College softball team swept Glendale Community College after scoring six runs in both games. In game one, the Lady Mats used a big fifth inning to rally for a 6-2 win. Game two featured consistent offense that pushed AWC past GCC 6-1.
With the Lady Mats (29-16 overall, 21-15 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) down 2-0 after four and a half innings in game one, the offense finally broke through. Sally Gastelo doubled and went to third on a wild pitch. Gabby Ramirez shot a single through the right side of the infield to plate Gastelo. Eventually Ramirez was tagged out at home on a squeeze play, but the play left runners on the corners with one out. Allison Betty demolished the first pitch of her at bat over the left field wall for a three-run home run and a 4-2 lead. It was her fifth homer of the season. After Julie Roach was hit by a pitch, Jessica Alvarez knocked a double to right-center field that scored Roach from first for a 5-2 lead.
In the sixth inning, Gastelo was hit by a pitch before Ramirez knocked her in with a double and a 6-2 lead.
Belinda Gonzalez (16-8) earned the win after a strong start in the circle. She only allowed four hits and two runs (one earned). The sophomore did not issue a walk and struck out nine in seven innings. The nine K’s are one short of her season high (10, vs. Benedictine-Univesity at Mesa at the Copper State Classic on March 3).
Glendale (9-31 overall, 6-30 ACCAC) scored an unearned run in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Tori Flake hit a one-out single and then went first-to-third on a wild pitch. Jorden Jefferson then bunted down the third base line, and AWC’s Caylin Espericueta fielded it. She checked third and saw Flake off the bag, but the throw went high to score Flake.
In the fourth inning, Glendale added a run when Aimie Sorensen swatted a solo home run. Her second homer of the season made it 2-0.
Flake (4-6) took the loss for Glendale. She allowed six runs, all earned, on nine hits in six innings. Flake did not walk a batter while striking out one and hitting two.
Arizona Western took the lead in the second inning of game two and never trailed. Nadia Hernandez led off the bottom of the second with a double and went to third on a passed ball. She scored on an illegal pitch to put AWC up 1-0.
In the third, a pair of doubles made it 2-0. Alvarez doubled to right field to start the bottom of the inning. Two batters later, Alvarez went to third on a 6-4-3 double play. Hernandez smoked a grounder past short to score her.
Glendale answered in the top of the fourth. Caitlin Harris hammered a solo home run to start the frame. It was her fourth homer of the season and cut the lead to 2-1.
AWC responded by loading the bases in the bottom of the inning. Alvarez laced a line drive to left field that rolled to the wall and scored all three runs for a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Hernandez led off with a single through the right side of the infield. She was sacrificed to second and scored when Betty hit a single to right field for a 6-1 lead.
Karly Turner (3-3) earned the win in the circle after going the distance for the Lady Mats. She set a career high with four strikeouts while only allowing one run on five hits and one walk.
Sabrina Jimenez (2-4) took the loss for Glendale after allowing six runs, all earned, on nine hits. She walked three and struck out one in five innings.
The Lady Mats are on the road Saturday to play third-ranked Phoenix College in a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
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.