The Los Medanos College softball team said goodbye to their sophomores with a two game series split against Mendocino College on April 12.
Before the game, LMC took time out to recognize the four, 2-year sophomores leaving the program. Pitcher Julie Lopez, who has a 3.4 gpa and plans to attend Sacramento State University, short stop Renee Smith, who has a 3.8 gpa and headed to attend San Francisco State University, third baseman Maria Reyes, 3.0 gpa while planning to attend California State University East Bay, and catcher Brittni brown, 3.88 gpa and also planning to attend CSUEB. A ceremonial first pitch and a singing of the Star Spangled Banner followed the ceremony to start the game.
The Mustangs came out hot in the first game. Starting pitcher Abbee Cruz-Lawrence produced just the right amount of pitches in order for the defense to put away the side in three at bats. Lopez would see her time at the plate in the bottom of the first as she hacked away at the first pitch, sending it over left field fence for a 4-run grand slam, 4-0. Mendocino would fail to produce base runners to catch up.
Come bottom of the third, first baseman would join in on the homerun fun and blast a 2-run bomb over right field fence, 6-0.
Defensive excellence from the Mustangs would continue to shut down the opposing side, as their bats remained hot throughout the game.
Mendocino would get away with a single run in the fourth inning, but the lady Stangs decided to put the game away and bury the Eagles. End of game one, LMC walked away with a 13-1 sweet win.
Game two did not go as swimmingly as game one. The roles were reversed as the Mustangs were hunted down 2-15.
Lopez started out the second game, allowing four runs in the first inning. Los Medanos would find their way onto the bases but fail to capitalize with runners in scoring position.
Top of the second Cruz-Lawrence would be brought back onto the mound; however Mendocino was not fazed by the pitching change and tacked on more runs to stretch the gap 0-6.
Bottom of the fifth would show hope for the Stangs as Smith doubled to right field, and was brought home by Brown, followed by first baseman Jayla Allen who had a sacrifice fly to score Brown, 2-6. This would be the last time LMC scored during the second game.
Top of the seventh inning the Eagles decided to leave their hearts on the field and ended the game 2-15.
“I think that we started the first game strong, but we could’ve done better in the second game,” said Reyes.
Despite the hard loss, head coach Tim Rognlien recognized the girls’ fight until the very end and still had high hopes for the remainder of the season. Along with Rognlien, the departing sophomores reminisced on the season and the life long memories they will take away.
“My favorite memory I would have to say is just the friendships and opportunities LMC softball has given me,” said Lopez. “I want to say thank you to coach Tim and his staff for turning this program around, and also to my team for making my last season one to remember.”
Along with Lopez, Smith shared that her heart will remain on the Los Medanos field.
“The best memories I’ve made are definitely from this season. It’s bittersweet that my last season is my best, and this team is the closest I’ve ever been to a group of girls, but I’m glad we are how we are,” said Smith. “I feel like I’m going to leave a piece of me behind. It’s my last year playing and I know I didn’t want to keep playing when I got to LMC, but looking back I’m glad coach Tim convinced me. It was great while it lasted,” she added.
The last home game of the Los Medanos softball season is April 19 and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
For more information on the LMC softball team visit http://www.losmedanos.edu/softball