The VC softball team made it back to the field for their 2021 Covid-season opener Thursday, splitting a double-header with visiting Mt. San Antonio College. The Pirates dropped the opener 6-0 before rallying late in the nightcap for a 4-3 victory. Aleska Page had three hits on the day, including a double, a run scored and a run batted in to lead the offense while Isabel Gallegos had an RBI triple and played a strong defensive game in left field.
Ventura 0, Mt. San Antonio 6
The Pirates couldn't find their rhythm at the plate in the opener, managing just four hits in the game. Page was 2-2 at the plate including a double to lead the way.
Jalen Barron set up the first scoring opportunity of the day with a lead off triple in the bottom of the second inning, but she was stranded at third base. Mt. SAC came back in the next frame with two runs for the early lead.
Page singled in the third, and had a two-out double in the fifth, but VC could not capitalize. The Mounties added a four-run sixth inning to put the game away.
Kat Tafoya pitched all seven innings for Ventura, striking out eight while giving up six hits and six runs.
Ventura 4, Mt. San Antonio 3
VC rallied in the nightcap for a 4-3 victory. The Pirates had three straight 2-out RBI singles in the bottom half of the sixth inning to set the final margin.
The defense took center stage early for VC. In the top of the second, pitcher Morgan Albertsen had a pair of strike outs and Leanna De La Cruz had a diving stop at second for the 4-3 put-out to retire the Mounties in order. in the top of the third, Celeste Pacheco had a diving catch in centerfield to save a hit.
The Pirates then scored first, plating a run in the bottom half of the third inning. After Isabella Ayala drew a walk, Gallegos followed with an RBI triple for a 1-0 Ventura lead.
Mt. SAC countered with a run in the fourth, and the Pirate gloves were hot again in the fifth. Pacheco and Gallegos each had diving catches in the frame to help strand one base runner leaving the game tied at 1-1.
The Mounties manufactured a pair of runs in the sixth, including one on a sacrifice fly to left-center hauled in with a great over-the-shoulder catch by Gallegos, preventing a bigger inning. Mt. SAC finished the frame with four straight two-out singles but managed just one more run for a 3-1 lead.
Ventura rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pacheco started the frame by reaching base after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on De La Cruz's sacrifice bunt. One out later Barron drew a 2-out walk, setting the stage for some clutch hitting. Page, Tafoya and Courtney Terrazas each produced RBI singles scoring Pacheco, Barron and Page, respectfully as the Pirates went ahead 4-3.
In the top of the seventh, Mt. SAC had the tying runner on second when a shot at VC shortstop took a bad hop and skipped into shallow left field. A charging Gallegos picked up the ball and gunned down the runner at the plate to preserve the Pirate victory.
Albertsen picked up the win in the circle, striking out two and scattering nine hits.
The Pirates return to the VC Softball Complex on Thursday April 29 hosting Moorpark for a double-header at 1:00 and 3:00 pm.