Softball struggles over the weekend

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

California State East Bay’s softball team struggled in their two series over the weekend against San Marcos and Humboldt State.

“We are all struggling hitting right now and are having trouble producing runs, which is letting teams get the upper hand on us,” freshman infielder Jennifer Palmares said.

On Friday and Saturday, the team faced Cal State San Marcos (5-10 overall, 4-6 conference) in a four-game series, in which they fell three games to one. In the first game, the Pioneers were able to earn a 3-2 win, but the next game was a different story as East Bay struggled to get hits and runs, which resulted in a 4-1 loss.

The next day in the third game of the four-game series, the Pioneers forced the game to extra innings, but suffered a loss in the 9th inning.

East Bay tied the game at 7 in the 7th inning when sophomore catcher Tanya Galvan singled to left field, which allowed sophomore infielder Anissa Maldonado to score. But the Cougars bit back in the 9th inning to secure a 8-7 win, when senior outfielder Holly Fauria singled and freshman outfielder Sara Whelehon scored.

Later that day, the women fell again and were unable to top the Cougars in a 7-2 loss in the final game of the series.

“Defensively we were making errors, that ultimately cost us some runs and they were just out hitting us,” Palmares said.

In the final game Palmares went 3-for-4 at bat with 1 run.

The Pioneers had Sunday off, but had to play a make-up game against the top team in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference Humboldt State University (14-1, 9-1). Their initial games against Humboldt on Feb. 17 and 18 were canceled due to rain.

East Bay played a two-game series against the Lumberjacks, which was almost rained out again because of rainy weather.

In the first game, Humboldt proved why they have only lost one game so far this season, as senior pitcher Madison Williams threw a no-hitter, which consisted of 7 strikeouts.

The Pioneers’ only run came in the 1st inning, when sophomore outfielder Courtney Leyva scored on a wild pitch.

East Bay contained the Lumberjacks and only allowed them get 1 run, in the 3rd inning. Both teams were solid on defense and the game remained tied 1-1 up until the top of the 7th inning, when Humboldt went bats lit up the scoreboard.

“We lacked intensity in the last few innings and Humboldt really took advantage of that,” freshman utility Emilie Portesi said. “They were just much more efficient with their bats in that last inning and it got the best of us.”

In the 7th inning Humboldt scored 5 runs, which started with senior second baseman Tiffany Hollingsworth grounding out to centerfield and allowed junior outfielder slash catcher Kelly Sonnemann to score. Humboldt would go on to score four more runs after that, which earned them the 6-1 win.

In the second game, the Pioneers were able to earn more hits, with 5 hits compared to their zero hits in the previous game.

The Pioneers were able to get on the board first once again, but it was not enough to overtake the Lumberjacks. Despite being scoreless through 5 innings, Humboldt converted in the 6th inning when junior outfielder Lona Dengler doubled up the middle and senior pitcher Kalyn Paque scored.

Two innings later, Paque sealed the deal after she homered, which led to 2 RBIs and gave Humboldt the 3-1 win.

The loss led to the Pioneers’ third straight series loss and put their record at 4-2 in conference and 8-10 overall.

“In order to get better and win we just really have to trust ourselves,” Palmares said. “Most of the errors that have lead to losses are mental, and we really have to sharpen up defensively as well.”

East Bay faces UC San Diego (13-5, 8-4) in a doubleheader on Friday and Saturday, beginning at noon at the Pioneer Softball Field on the Hayward campus.

“Going into the UCSD games we are ready to compete and we are ready to make more timely adjustments at the plate,” Portesi said.