Raiders Softball starts off slow into the conference season

Pitcher+Cassandra+Akers+winds+up+a+pitch+during+the+home+game+against+Cuesta+College+on+Thursday%2C+Mar.+5.+Akers+pitched+a+5.20+ERA.+Photo+credit%3A+Ryan+Bough

Pitcher Cassandra Akers winds up a pitch during the home game against Cuesta College on Thursday, Mar. 5. Akers pitched a 5.20 ERA. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

By Leslie Mendez

Moorpark Softball kicked off the conference schedule welcoming the Cuesta College Cougars on Thursday, March 5 at Moorpark College. The Raiders took a 3-1 loss, putting the team at a 0-1 standing to begin the conference season.

Raiders Softball held a 7-8 overall record walking into their first conference game. Freshman pitcher Cassandra Akers took the mound for Moorpark and pitched a good game. With a 5.20 ERA, Akers was looking to keep the score low at her tenth pitching appearance this season.

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(Left to right) Alexis DeYoung high fives Cassandra Akers after a good inning for the Raiders during the home game against Cuesta College on Thursday, Mar. 5. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“I think we played hard today and if we just keep that mentality I think we’ll do really well in conference,” Akers said, describing the team’s first conference performance.

Not many runs were generated on Moorpark’s part, except for the RBI single hit by freshman Iman Hibbler in the bottom of the second inning, knocking-in sophomore catcher Victoria Villegas and putting the Raiders on the board, 1-1.

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Delanee Upchurch narroly avoid the ball after bunting it and dashing for first base during the home game against Cuesta College on Thursday, Mar. 5. Moorpark lost to Cuesta, 3-1. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

Cuesta College bats came back in the fifth and earned two runs, extending their lead over Moorpark.

The game ended with a score of 3-1, putting the Raiders at a 7-9 overall and 1-1 in conference. Moorpark College received an automatic win in its conference schedule due to LA Pierce College forfeiting a game due to roster issues.

Regardless of the team’s overall record, the Raiders plan to push until the end of the season. There are always improvements put into play emphasized by Assistant Coach Nancy Bowling.

“There have been plenty of improvements,” Bowling said. “Every single day, every single week we make adjustments and you see girls coming out and they’re doing phenomenal.”

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First baseman Emily Ericksen scoops up the ball and tags the batter heading to first base during the home game against Cuesta College on Thursday, Mar. 5. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

In last week’s game, Head Coach Ginny Mitchell expressed how important it was for the team to focus on keeping the score down. With one starting pitcher on the team, Moorpark is having to rely heavily on their defense for support. This week the team improved tremendously in their defense by getting to the ball quickly.

“We’re throwing in between innings just to make sure our arms are loose and we don’t tear anything,” Bowling explained. “We’re making sure that we’re more accurate, and that everyone is healthy and ready to go out there.”

The season has gone off to a rocky start, but this hasn’t discouraged the team from making an effort to win games. Freshman second baseman Delanee Upchurch expressed how important it is for the team to stay positive and play hard.

Delanee Upchurch
Delanee Upchurch passes to the pitcher during warm ups before the next inning at the home game against Cuesta College on Thursday, Mar. 5. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“It comes down to practice, you practice how you preach,” Upchurch emphasized. “I think if we do more situational things and actually put our focus into what we’re doing it’ll show out through the games.”

Catch the Raider’s next home game on Tuesday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m. against Santa Barbara City College.