Softball split games with AAU Knights



Junior outfielder Lauren Vestal yells for her teammate at the Pioneer Softball Field in Hayward last week.

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

The Cal State East Bay women’s softball team improved to 5-1 this season after splitting a doubleheader with the Academy of Art University at Pioneer Field in Hayward on Feb. 5. CSUEB managed to take the first game 4-3 but fell to the Urban Knights 8-6 in game two.

Academy of Art University is now 1-1, with Pacific West Conference competition slated to begin on Feb. 20 against Azusa Pacific University. The Pioneers will begin California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference play tomorrow in Turlock against the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors.

“We had one half inning that really went poorly,” Academy of Art Head Coach Sonja Garnett said. “We got that out of our system with not a lot of errors, just some hits and we came back really well.”

Junior pitcher Sierra Clark improved to 2-0 this season after the Pioneers defeated the Urban Knights 4-3 in game one. Clark recorded a complete game on the mound for CSUEB as she pitched seven innings and gave up just three earned runs on five AAU hits in her appearance.

Clark got off to a rocky start for the Pioneers; in the first inning she gave up a two-run homerun to senior Jasmine Dickenson for an early 2-0 lead for the Urban Knights. AAU sophomore pitcher Alexa Peters found herself in some trouble in the bottom of the second inning and gave up four runs that allowed the Pioneers to take a 4-2 lead after two innings.

“Up and down our lineup, every hitter can smash that ball,” CSUEB junior pitcher Tatiana Beilstein said. “It is exciting to watch.”

CSUEB senior Jaynie MacDonald doubled to the gap in left-center field and scored junior Rose Marston. MacDonald scored on a wild pitch by Peters and then junior Lauren Vestal hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored fellow Pioneer senior Nikki Foster. CSUEB senior Alex Vela scored on an error after she reached base on a double to left-center field.

The lead was just enough for Clark, who allowed just one more run in the top of the fifth inning that made the final score 4-3. Clark has a 2.63 earned run average in 16 innings of work on the hill for Cal State East Bay.

Game two started with CSUEB down 1-0 early after starting pitcher sophomore Jordan Abel gave up a single to Dickenson that scored senior Kamyle Glover for the quick Academy of Art advantage.

However, the Pioneers came back in the bottom half of the first and put four runs on the board to take a 4-1 lead after one complete inning.

“The team is behind me and it makes it easy to pitch,” freshman pitcher Brenna Mitchell said. “If I throw a pitch and it gets hit I know they are going to get the out for me.”

The Urban Knights chipped away at the CSUEB lead and the score was tied at six going in to the final inning. AAU senior Haily MacDonald hit a triple to lead off the seventh inning and then scored on a Pioneers wild pitch.

Academy of Art junior Elise Oldham singled to right field and plated fellow Urban Knight senior Taylor Thurman to make the score 8-6 in favor of the Knights.
Academy of Art sophomore Hallie Curtis knocked in three runs in the victory and Mitchell picked up her first win of the young season after she went six innings on the bump for the Urban Knights.

“We have been working on situations all week and I think that preparation made it easy for me to relax,” Curtis said about her performance last week.
“I try to go up there with a clear mind and not stress myself out.”

CSUEB hitters went down in order after a groundout and two fly outs that ended the game and blemished their perfect record. Centerfielder Vestal finished with three hits in four plate appearances in the loss for the Pioneers.

Teammate and sophomore catcher Ali Cerminara also collected three hits in the loss, as well as a run batted in.