Softball splits games against Monterey Bay

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The California State East Bay softball team improved their record to 24-18 overall and 16-14 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference play after a weekend road trip to Monterey.

East Bay played the #8 ranked California State Monterey Bay Otters (31-7, 19-6) in a four-game series over the weekend and also one of their last conference series of the season.

“I feel we did very well considering Monterey is ranked #1 in conference,” freshman infielder Jennifer Palmares said. “We hung in there and competed in every inning and I am proud of my team.”

In the first game, the Pioneers fell to the Otters 2-0 and were unable to get on the board, but freshman pitcher Abby Greer had a very strong performance allowing just 2 runs in the game.

In the second game, East Bay had a complete momentum shift and proved their capability of competing with nationally ranked opponents. Monterey opened up the game with a 2-0 lead in the second inning, as senior outfielder Sam Luna singled up the middle, which advanced senior infielder Jene Coleman and junior outfielder Joanna Perruccio.

In the third inning the Pioneers’ bats woke up and they scored 6 runs, which was initiated by sophomore catcher Tanya Galvan who singled through the right side, advancing senior catcher Ali Cerminara, senior infielder Marisa Lemra to third, and sent freshman infielder Sarah Fukushima to home plate, putting the Pioneers within 1 run.

The Pioneers scored 5 more runs and were ultimately able to capitalize off of Monterey’s mistakes. One run was made due to Palmares being hit by the pitch, which enabled Lerma to score and 2 of the other runs were fueled by Pioneer walks.

Monterey answered with 3 straight runs in the bottom of the third inning, but East Bay was able to maintain their advantage as they led 6-5 heading into the fourth inning.

In the fifth inning, Monterey tied the game as they scored 2 runs to make it even. The Pioneers did not let them shake their momentum. Instead, they answered the Otters with some offense of their own.

“We let down a little on the defensive end, but we picked it back up and were able to make adjustments at the plate,” Palmares said. “We have been going through a lot of hitting reps at practice, and once we applied that it benefited us.”

Cerminara singled down the infield line in the top of the sixth inning, which allowed Fukushima to score after she advanced to third base on a previous play when Lerma grounded out. East Bay went on to score 3 more runs, which gave them the 11-7 win over the Otters.

The Pioneers played their second double header on Sunday and in the first game, the Pioneers dominated the Otters, scoring 12 runs in the contest. They opened up the game by putting 3 runs on the board in the first inning. The same happened in the bottom of the third inning when sophomore utility player Meghan Amanita was walked and sophomore utility player Anabella Serfin scored.

East Bay added 2 more runs after that, which extended their lead to 6-0. Monterey responded in the bottom of the third inning as they scored 3 runs but it did not do much for them as the Pioneers stayed hot at the plate. The Pioneers scored 6 more runs throughout the next 4 innings, which gave them the 12-4 win, and put them ahead in the series 2-1.

The final game of the series on Sunday afternoon was much different for East Bay as Monterey seemed fired up about losing twice to the Pioneers.

East Bay was able to get on the board early, scoring 2 runs in the first inning, but Monterey came back and scored 5 runs in the second and 6 in the third, which had a home run in both innings.

The Pioneers weren’t able to come back and fell to the Otters 11-3, which ended the series tied 2-2. Despite the two losses, this was a great contest for the Pioneers, who were encouraged by their performance against a top team.

“We know we are going to be facing the top number four and number five ranked teams in these next series,” Palmares said. “So we have to be focused, make adjustments at the plate, overly communicate on defense and stay loud in the dugout.”

East Bay plays Sonoma State (29-12,19-8) in a four-game series beginning on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Pioneer softball field on the Hayward campus.