On April 8, the Palomar Comets softball team took on the undefeated Cypress Chargers in a doubleheader.
The Comets are the top team in the Pacific Coast division with a conference record of 10-0, but they met their match when they faced off against Orange Empire leading Cypress College. The Chargers took both games, winning 6-1 in the first game and 9-1 in the second to extend their undefeated season record to 32-0.
In the first game both teams came out in the first few innings with strong defense and even stronger pitching. It was downhill for the Comets in the fifth inning, when the Chargers brought home 2 runs, followed by a solo home run in the sixth inning by outfielder Emma Walker. Cypress would add three more runs in the seventh to solidify their lead.
“They didn’t really do anything special, they got lucky and hit in the gaps,” Crystal DesLauriers, starting pitcher for Palomar said.
DesLauriers had a mixed day in the pitcher’s circle, where she pitched all seven innings while striking out seven batters. However, she also walked three batters and pegged four more, handing out a total of seven free bases to the opposing team.
The players from the Cypress bench could be heard cheering “Free bases, we love free bases,” throughout the game.
20-year-old Destiny Vasquez, starting pitcher for the Chargers, also pitched the game’s full seven innings. Vasquez managed to keep the Comets’ offense at bay, matching DesLauriers’ seven strikeouts but keeping away from walking or pegging any batters.
“They were really aggressive, they were swinging at the high pitches so I knew that I didn’t have to pitch perfect strikes, I could just work around [them],” Vasquez said after the victory.
In the second game the Chargers wasted no time in getting themselves on the scoreboard, leading off the first inning by batting in a run followed by a three-run home run from Walker.
The Palomar offense attempted to fight back with a solo home run in the bottom half of the first by catcher Bailey Romano, but were unable to push across any more runs for the remainder of the game.
While Palomar’s defense managed to ward off several attempted runs by the Chargers’ aggressive base-runners, the final score of the game was 9-1 in favor of Cypress.
Palomar Head coach Lacey Craft was disappointed by the back to back losses.
“Going into it we knew that it was going to be a tough game, they’re undefeated this year so far. Coming into today we really wanted to give them a good fight,” Craft said. “We need to have a little bit better command of our pitches, and decrease the amount of walks and hit by pitches we had in both games today … and offensively we didn’t do what we wanted to today.”
Despite the two losses, Craft was pleased with Romano’s performance throughout both games.
“She hit the home run in the second game … she played a pretty good game and also threw out a runner at second,” Craft said. “Our strategy today we had to try and keep them from stealing a lot of bases and I think we did a good job with that with her behind the plate.”
The Comets softball team will look to get back on track in their next game on April 11 at Riverside City College.
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