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May 4, 2010 > Ohlone upset in first round

Ohlone upset in first round

By Biff Jones
Photos By Don Jedlovec

Ohlone College Renegades, champions of Coast Conference North (CCN) for the eighth consecutive year faced Feather River College Golden Eagles of Quincy, co-champions of the Golden Valley Conference, last weekend in a best two-out-of-three format in the California Community College Round 1 Nor Cal Regional Tournament.

Ohlone, the No.-7 seed, coached by Donna Runyon came in with a 14-2 conference record and 27-9-1 overall, was matched-up against the No.-10 seed Golden Eagles (15-5 and 27-10) coached by Josh Taylor. (Feather River was actually the No.-11 seed and the College of San Mateo the No.-10 seed. Since Ohlone and San Mateo are both in CCN and two teams from the same conference cannot meet in the first round, San Mateo and Feather River switched seeds.)

Opposing pitchers for Game 1 on Saturday, May 1, pitted Ohlone freshman ace Jessica Varady against Feather River freshman Erica Wieck.

Feather River got on the board right out of the chute in the first inning when their leadoff hitter tripled to the right-centerfield gap and scored when the next hitter drove her home with a sacrifice fly.

Feather River would score two more in the third started by another leadoff triple. A single followed to score one run and came home after another single and an Ohlone error.

Renegades answered with a run in the bottom of the third on a walk by shortstop and leadoff hitter Ashley Nahale followed by an Eagle error allowing centerfielder Megan Ramirez to reach base. Nahale and Ramirez pulled off a double steal and Nahale scored when Varady reached on another error by the visitors to close the gap to 3-1.

Feather River would take a 5-1 lead in the fifth on two doubles, a hit batsman and another Renegade error. Bottom of the fifth saw the hosts get back in the game when Varady hit it on top of the right-centerfield fence and over for a two-run homerun.

A walk and three consecutive singles plated another run to cut the margin to 5-4. However, with the bases loaded and only one out, the promising inning ended abruptly on a home-to-first double play.

Sixth inning was the heart breaker for the Renegades. After two outs, the Eagles number-nine hitter reached on a tough chance back to the pitcher. A single and walk followed to load the bases. Then, the Eagles hit a bases-clearing photo to go up 9-4.

After the Eagles added another run in the top of the seventh, Ohlone threatened in the bottom half when they led off with four straight singles to score a run. But that's where the scoring ended for the Renegades, and Feather River went on to win 10-5.

Leading hitters for Ohlone were Varady (2-4, HR), Stefanie Hatley (3-4), Paulina Gentry (3-4), Shelby Tomasello (1-2, 2 BB) and Candace Christiansen (2-4).

Game 2 on Sunday had Varady again toeing the rubber for Ohlone against another Eagles' freshman, Annalee Rubio.

First inning again saw the Renegades get beat down by the visitors from up north when the first four hitters reached base to take an early 3-0 lead. Top of inning two Feather River added another run on an RBI double, upping the lead to 4-0.

Finally, in the bottom of the fourth, the Renegades would pull to within one at 4-3 when Nahale singled,Varady doubled, Tomasello reached on an error, Christiansen doubled and Gentry singled after an out. Eagles would have an answer in the next half inning: a two-run homerun by Shelby Watts to go up 6-3.

Ohlone would not quit, scratching for two runs in their half of the fifth on singles by Nahale and Varady followed by a passed ball and an infield ground out to close the gap to 6-5.

Bottom sixth had the hosts tying the score, 6-6, when Gentry smacked a double (her third hit of the day and sixth consecutive of the series). Sesilia Baca singled her home, tying the game.

Feather River led off its seventh inning with a homerun, grabbing the 7-6 lead it would take to victory.

In addition to Paulina Gentry, other top Renegade hitters were Varady, 2-4 with a double; Nahale, 2-4; and Christiansen, a double.

Ohlone finished the season at 27-11-1 for 2010.

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