SF State’s Selina Rodriguez (24) tags out Cal Baptist’s Jacque Lopez (14) at first base during the Gators game against the Lancers at SF State’s softball field, Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Gators lost the game 0-1. Photo by Gavin McIntyre / Xpress
SF State was unable to come up with the upset in their doubleheader against No. 3 ranked Cal Baptist Lancers March 15.
After losing the first game of the doubleheader, the Gators and the nationally ranked Lancers were locked in a pitcher’s duel in the second as they went to extra innings, with SF State eventually coming up short.
After three scoreless innings in the first game, the Gators trailed the Lancers 5-0. In the bottom of the fourth, the Gators offense came to life, as Lucy Fernandez hit a double to left to score two runs, they would add one more run in the inning.
What seemed to be a promising comeback for the Gators was not meant be, as the Lancers were able to rally in the top of the sixth. They scored eight runs on two hits, including a home run. The Lancer rally shut down any chance the Gators had, giving the Gators a 13-4 loss.
“We came out playing timid in the first game and it showed,” said Courtney Gravel, shortstop for the Gators. “And when it came to the second game, we realized, ‘what do we have to lose?’”
After five defensive errors in game one, the Gators defense completely changed in game two, only committing a single error. Freshman starting pitcher Megan Clark put on a pitching exhibition as she pitched eight innings, allowing five hits and just one unearned run.
The Gator’s offensive was not able to give Clark any run support, managing only four hits and being shut out the entire game. Though she had a solid start, Clark took the loss and now is 2-6 for the season.
“Our mindset in the second game was totally different,” said Clark. “We just couldn’t let them beat us at our home. They had to beat our best stuff.”
After facing the Lancers, the Gators now have played against three ranked teams in a row. They are a combined 1-7 against ranked opponents No. 7 Humboldt, No. 22 Dixie State and No. 3 Cal Baptist, with their only win coming against Humboldt. Though they have yet to have success against ranked teams, the Gators are not afraid to go after them.
“We keep the ranking of teams in the back of our heads,” said Gravel. “But we know we can play.
The Gators team has physical talent, but the mental game is something they need to work on, especially with underclassman making up more than half the team.
“It was a little bit of a learning curve for the young girls on the team,” said head coach Cristina Byrne. “We needed to prepare them mentally for a 56-game season. This youthful team has allowed for some of the older girls (like Gravel) to step up. She’s a great leader by example (with her) great offense and defense.”
The Gators are in last place in the conference as they are now 3-11 in the CCAA . The Gators hope to break their seven-game losing streak, as they face the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors in a doubleheader Wednesday, March 19.