Ride the Bats

YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Western College softball team batted in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon, and they scored in nine of them. The Lady Mats (37-16 overall, 31-11 ACCAC) beat South Mountain (11-40 overall, 8-34 ACCAC) 11-0 in five innings and 11-3 in six innings to sweep the Cougars. The Lady Mats picked up 24 hits on the day.

Game two was tight through the first three-and-a-half innings. AWC saw a 3-0 lead trimmed to 3-2 in the top of the fourth, but the offense responded. With one out and a runner on second, Yassiel Lazo pounded an RBI double off the base of the wall in left-center. Caylin Espericueta followed it up with a towering homer (her first home run of the year) to left field for a 6-2 lead. Aylin Campa walked with two outs two batters later, and Allison Betty opened up some breathing room with an RBI double for a 7-2 lead.

The Lady Mats tacked on a run in the fifth to make it 8-2. Isabel Sanchez hit a high, deep double down the left field line to score Michelle Roldan all the way from first.

South Mountain plated one in the sixth on two hits. Jazmyn Zepeda hit an RBI single through the right side of the infield with two outs to cut the lead to 8-3.

AWC ended the game with a two out rally in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on second and third, Samantha Jara Villegas hit a deep double to left field that scored both runs and made it 10-3. Roldan followed her with an RBI single to make it 11-3 and end the game.

AWC took an early lead in the first inning of the second game. With two on and no outs, Betty hit a hard grounder through the left side of the infield for an RBI single that left runners at first and third. Jessica Alvarez hit a sac fly to score a run and make it 2-0.

Espericueta pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second. With two outs, she laced a line drive to left field that scored Roldan. She went 2-3 with a run scored, a homer and 3 RBI in the game.

South Mountain battled back with a strong fourth inning. The Cougars had runners at first and third with one out, and Marisa Garcia lined a single to center field to cut the lead to 3-1. After a walk loaded the bases, Skyler Cardoza hit a deep shot to center field for a single the cut the lead to 3-2, and AWC called on Kanani Vizcarra to relieve Stram in the circle. Vizcarra came on and escaped the bases-loaded jam without any more damage.

Vizcarra (3-1) earned the win in the circle. She allowed one run on three hits in 2.2 innings. Stram pitched the first 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits.

Nephtali Ruiz (1-10) took the loss for South Mountain. She allowed all 11 runs on 11 hits while walking six and striking out two in 5.2 innings.

In game one, the offense scored in every inning. In the first inning, a single and walk along with a passed ball put runners on second and third. Betty knocked a groundout to second that scored the lead runner, and Alvarez scored another on a single that bounced off the second baseman Zepeda. Roldan knocked in the final run of the inning a few batters later with an RBI single to right field to make it 3-0.

Lazo walked and was sacrificed to second to start the second inning, and Stram singled her home. Stram took second on the throw home, and she was sacrificed to third. Betty nearly hit a homer, but she had to settle for a double off the top of the fence that knocked home Stram. Alvarez sent a double to right-center to trade places with Betty, and she scored when Burgos swatted an RBI single one batter later for a 7-0 lead.

In the third, Sanchez led off with a single and stole second, and Lazo poked her home with a single up the middle. Caylin Espericueta drew a walk, and Stram doubled in a run one batter later to make it 9-0. Espericueta ultimately came around to score on an error to make it 10-0.

In the fourth, Sam Jara Villegas snuck a ball fair down the right field line and legged out a triple. Nadia Hernandez mashed a double to left field to score Jara Villegas for an 11-0 lead.

Stram (20-6) dominated in the circle for the Lady Mats. She only allowed four total baserunners on two hits and two walks, and she struck out three. The freshman also went 3-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.

Megan Jesionowski (4-17) took the loss. She gave up 11 runs on 13 hits while walking three and striking out two in four innings.

The Lady Mats are on the road at Mesa on Tuesday. The doubleheader starts at 1:00 p.m. AWC is not home until the final matchup of the regular season on Saturday, April 28.

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 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.

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