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May 20, 2009 > Renegades fall at state championship

Renegades fall at state championship

By Biff Jones
Photos By Don Jedlovec

For Fremont's Ohlone College Renegades, it was their first trip to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Softball Championships, which was held this past weekend, May 15-17, at Salinas Sports Complex. It had the top four seeded teams remaining from Nor Cal and So Cal after two weekends of regional play. Ohlone started Nor Cal regional play seeded sixth and came into the state finals as the four seed from Nor Cal, pitting them against So Cal number one, Cypress College Chargers, in the first round.

In game one for the Renegades it was business as usual, decent pitching, strong defense and weak hitting. For the first five and a half innings it was a scoreless tie. Then in the bottom half of the sixth, Cypress broke the tie with a lead-off bunt single, a double and a three-run home run. Another doubled followed, the fourth consecutive hit of the sixth, with still no outs. Ohlone managed to get the next two batters before the third double of the inning and fifth hit, plated the fourth run.

Ohlone finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh with two singles coupled with two ground outs to score one run. But that was all the Renegades could muster as they lost game one, 4-1, and would now have to go through the loser's bracket with no room to spare. Ashtyn Mullin, who entered the game as a pinch hitter, drove in the Renegades only run on a ground out. Sophomore pitcher and Tri-City Voice May female athlete of month, Kelly Colker, took the loss for the Renegades. She gave up six hits, two walks and had four strikeouts.

Game two saw the same scenario for Ohlone in loser's bracket action against Nor Cal two seed, Sacramento City College Panthers. Sac City got on the board first with a home run in the second inning that barely cleared the left center field fence. After Renegade batters struck out seven consecutive times over the first three innings, Miller finally got on base to lead off the fourth with a bunt single. Then when sophomore second baseman, Kim Cawley, followed with a sacrifice bunt, Miller tried to go from first to third after Cawley was thrown out at first for the first out of the inning. However, Miller was gunned down on a perfect throw to third from the Panthers' second baseman who had covered first on the bunt. Sac City then added two more runs in their half of the fifth on a leadoff single, two Ohlone errors and a sacrifice bunt.

Renegades would not score until the bottom of the seventh when Miller led off with a single and promptly stole second. Then, after two outs, freshman Mariah Jones, who had entered the game in the fifth inning as a defensive replacement in left field, singled in Miller for the first run of the game for the Renegades. Jones then stole second, moved to third after a wild pitch, and scored on a Sac City error. That would be it for Ohlone and the 2009 season as they lost their second game at the state finals, 3-2. Colker again took the loss giving up six hits and two walks while striking out five.

Ohlone Head Coach Donna Runyon took seven consecutive Coast Conference North Division Championships into the post season. She continued to win first round regional games and, for the first time, won a second round regional to advance to her first state tournament.

Ohlone will be without six graduating sophomores for next year including, third baseman Audrea Lopez, shortstop Miller, second baseman Cawley, reserve first baseman Brittany Lenz and the starting battery of pitcher Colker and catcher Sumner. They will return with freshmen, Paulina Gentry, Julyssa Perry, Jones, Jessica Maria, Antonia Gentry, Jenna Roman, Ashley Nahale, Kendall Beerman, Mullin and Tomasello, who now know what it takes to make it to state.

So Cal number three seed, Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Sac) College Mounties from Walnut, defeated Nor Cal three seed, Sierra College Wolverines from Rocklin, 7-1, in the championship game. For the Mounties, it was their fourth title (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009) in the last seven years. Mt. Sac is the largest community college in the U.S.

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