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April 1, 2009 > Chabot softball struggling; still have a shot at playoffs

Chabot softball struggling; still have a shot at playoffs

By Biff Jones

For Head Coach Chelsea Spencer's Gladiator softball team, it has been a rough couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago, the team went 1-4 as Coach Spencer was out of town on family business; and even though she returned last week, the team went 0-4 to extend their losing streak to eight games. Only two of those losses were to Coast Conference North (CCN) teams to make Chabot's league record 7-3, 13-18 overall. That puts the Gladiators in second place in CCN, half a game ahead of third place, College of San Mateo, at 6-3.

Since the top two teams in each conference automatically qualify for the 16-team Nor Cal Community College Regional, Chabot just needs to win their remaining conference games as they also meet CSM in the last regular season game. Standing in the Gladiators' way is a game against league leader, Ohlone of Fremont, just before the CSM game.

Last week, Chabot lost to Coast Conference South (CCS) leader, San Jose City College, 11-3, in a game that counted in their conference record. The two teams traded shutouts for the first three innings before each team struck for two runs in the fourth. SJCC scored three runs in each of the last three innings; while the Gladiators could only muster one.

Sophomore Emily Cipolla pitched the first four and two-thirds innings for Chabot; freshman Shannon Merritt pitched the final two and a third. Leading hitters for the Gladiators were sophomore second baseman Cristina Panuco with a double and single; sophomore third baseman Deena Qualls also had a double and single; and sophomore catcher Nikki Frieburg had two singles.

Chabot also lost to Diablo Valley of Pleasant Hill, 9-8, before losing a make-up doubleheader to Santa Rosa, 8-4, and 7-3, on Sunday, March 29. Next home game is Saturday, April 4, against CCN foe, Foothill of Los Altos Hills, at 11 a.m.

For Ohlone, they defeated CCS opponents Hartnell of Salinas, 3-1, and Gavilan of Gilroy, 6-0, before losing, 2-1, in eight innings to SJCC in a nonconference game. The Renegades played SJCC at San Jose in a rematch on Tuesday, March 31. Results were not available at press. To find out how they fared, log onto www.tricityvoice.com/sports. Ohlone returns home on Tuesday, April 7, against Foothill at 3 p.m.

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