Moorpark Softball remains patient at the plate but struggles to keep Ohlone from the win

A+Renegade+base+runner+watches+from+third+base+next+to+Raider+third+baseman+Alexis+DeYoung+after+the+Renegades+brought+home+a+batter+during+moorpark%27s+home+game+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+29.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

A Renegade base runner watches from third base next to Raider third baseman Alexis DeYoung after the Renegades brought home a batter during moorpark's home game on Saturday, Feb. 29. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Leslie Mendez

With a 7-8 record, Moorpark continues to battle for wins prior to conference games. The Raiders took on the Ohlone Renegades at home but fell short in a 14-7 game on Saturday, Feb. 29.

Head Coach Ginny Mitchell shared some insight about the team’s ability to keep their heads held high in times of defeat.

“This game is a very mental game, trying to stay positive throughout all seven innings is difficult,” Coach Mitchell said after the team’s loss against Ohlone.

The game had a rocky start with Moorpark trailing behind 3-0 in the first inning.

Ohlone outfielder Kaelani Ratliff fields a ball during Moorpark's home game against the renegades on Saturday, Feb. 29. Ratliff hit four balls out of her five at-bats, and scored two runs for the Renegades.
Ohlone outfielder Kaelani Ratliff fields a ball during Moorpark's home game against the renegades on Saturday, Feb. 29. Ratliff hit four balls out of her five at-bats, and scored two runs for the Renegades. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The Raiders retaliated in the bottom of the second with freshman first baseman Emily Eriksen hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in sophomore infielder Deanna Villa, making the score 3-1.

Freshman outfielder Bethany Yzagguirre stepped up to the plate to hit an RBI single and increased the score to 3-2.

After a short series of scoring, Moorpark’s bats went silent. Players were putting the barrel to the ball, but were unsuccessful driving players in to score.

Freshman Ylse Prieto takes a swing at bat for the raiders during their home game on Saturday, Feb. 29. Freshman Bethany Yzaguirre waits on deck studying the pitch.
Freshman Ylse Prieto takes a swing at bat for the raiders during their home game on Saturday, Feb. 29. Freshman Bethany Yzaguirre waits on deck studying the pitch. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Luckily for Moorpark, they were able to score four runs in the bottom of the fifth as Eriksen hit an RBI double and allowed two runners to score. Shortly after, freshman catcher Mikayla Gay hit a single and sophomore catcher Victoria Villegas advanced to home plate, making the score 7-5.

Yzaguirre battled in her third at-bat, tipping off multiple foul balls to tire out the pitcher and eventually hitting an RBI single to shorten the Raiders run difference, 7-6.

“You don’t want to just hit that first pitch and be out instantly, you want to let her pitch to you,” Yzaguirre explained as she described the importance of being persistent at the plate.

Freshman Bethany Yzaguirre makes contact with a ball, hitting it foul during Moorpark's home game against Ohlone College on Saturday, Feb. 29. Yzaguirre got two hits from her four at-bats, but never made it home.
Freshman Bethany Yzaguirre makes contact with a ball, hitting it foul during Moorpark's home game against Ohlone College on Saturday, Feb. 29. Yzaguirre got two hits from her four at-bats, but never made it home. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Although the offense’s motivation was present at the game, they were unable to keep the scoring momentum going. With 12 hits produced from the Raiders, Moorpark was unable to keep up and resulting in 10 runners left in scoring position.

“You put together that many hits you should win,” Coach Mitchell said. “Now we just have to focus on keeping down the score.”

Moorpark’s strong offensive efforts were not enough to overcome the pitching staff’s struggles.

The Renegades were just as determined as the Raiders, and Moorpark was unable to quiet down Ohlone throughout the game.

“I think we knew this team was going to be a lot better than most,” said freshman pitcher Cassandra Akers. “So just practicing pitching a little more during the week helped prepare us.”

Freshman Cassandra Akers pitches a ball toward a Renegade batter during Moorpark's home game against Ohlone College on Saturday, Feb. 29. Akers pitched six out of the seven innings.
Freshman Cassandra Akers pitches a ball toward a Renegade batter during Moorpark's home game against Ohlone College on Saturday, Feb. 29. Akers pitched six out of the seven innings. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Relievers did their best to get out of the bases-loaded situation, yet it wasn’t enough to fend off Ohlone and their 14-7 defeat.

As the first conference game kicks off next week, Moorpark Softball continues to prepare regardless of the season’s early struggles. Defensively, the team is stepping up to support their pitchers and practicing their mobility in the outfield to reach the ball faster.

“Sometimes our outfield isn’t that strong and it’s really important to have that range in the outfield,” said Yzaguirre. “Without a strong outfield or strong defense, there’s no team really.”

With an overall record of 7-8, the Raiders travel away to their first conference game Thursday, March 5, against Cuesta College.