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March 25, 2009 > Renegades bearing down for the home stretch

Renegades bearing down for the home stretch

By Biff Jones

For Head Coach Dona Runyon's Ohlone softball team, it is time to start positioning themselves for the upcoming California Community College Softball Tournament. Although a seventh straight Coast Conference North championship has not been
mathematically secured, barring a dramatic collapse, they should be able to stay ahead of their nearest pursuers, Chabot College of Hayward and the College of San Mateo.

In Nor Cal, the top 16 seeds make the state tournament, with the same happening in So Cal. Nor Cal has six leagues and the top two teams in each league automatically qualify for the state regional tourney. That leaves four spots for at-large teams. After qualifying for Nor Cal regionals, a team wants to be one of the top eight seeds so they can host a first round series, best two out of three.

Having done that, the ultimate goal, other than being crowned state champion, is to be one of the four top seeds. Then a team is guaranteed of hosting both first- and second-round regional games, providing the team wins its first round encounter. This year's state tournament will be held in Salinas.

Although coaches always preach taking it one game at a time, even one pitch at a time in the case of softball, for Ohlone to be a top-four seed, they are probably going to have to run the table of its remaining games, something all teams want to do. The Renegades schedule is not too difficult for the rest of the regular season except for a tournament in Turlock hosted by Modesto College coming up this weekend, March 28-29. Some of the best teams in Northern California will participate.

Last week, Ohlone defeated Monterey Peninsula College, 4-3; Napa Valley, 4-0; American River of Sacramento, 2-0; and Taft, 8-0, in a game shortened to six innings because of the eight-run mercy rule. Winning and starting pitcher in three of the games was sophomore ace, Kelly Colker, while freshman, Jessica Maria, picked up the other victory.

Colker had 11 strikeouts against MPC and 14 versus ARC. Leading hitters for the Renegades were freshmen Shelby Tomasello, Ashley Nahale, Julyssa Perry, Paulina Gentry and Ashtyn Mullin, and sophomores Audrea Lopez, Brittany Lenz and Jamie Miller. Mullin went 3-3 against Taft with a single, double, triple and three RBI.

Next home game for Ohlone is Tuesday, April 7, at 3 p.m. against Foothill of Los Altos Hills.

For Chabot College, they defeated Hartnell of Salinas, 10-4, on Tuesday, March 17, before dropping four in a row: 12-2 to Gavilan on Thursday, March 19; 5-1 and 16-9 in a double header at Merced on Saturday, March 21; and 18-5 in five innings to Nor Cal power Sacramento City College at San Mateo.

Chabot hosts Diablo Valley on Thursday, March 26, at 3 p.m. San Jose City traveled to Chabot on March 24, results were not available at press time. To find out the results of that game, as well as Ohlone's dual with Hartnell on March 24, and much more, log onto

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