SOFTBALL: With one out in the final inning, Foothill Conference Player of the Year Karina Romero hit a walk off, two run home run, sweeping the Dons out of the CCCAA Softball Playoffs.
With one swing Sunday, Karina Romero ended the Dons’ season with a game winning, two run home run, advancing College of the Desert to the California Community College Athletic Association Softball Southern Super Regional Championships. Desert beat the Dons 7-6, sweeping a best of three playoff series at home.
“It is unbelievable,” the sophomore Romero said.
Romero, the Foothill Conference Player of the Year, had one hit in eight at bats in the series entering the seventh inning Sunday.
“I was just trying to keep the rally going,” Romero said.
Desert took an early lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single from freshman second baseman Rylee Perez.
The Dons got on the scoreboard in the top half of the third with a solo home run from sophomore speedster Alexandra Perkins.
In the top of the fourth, following a two out error by Roadrunner freshman shortstop Roxanne Allen, Perkins stepped to the plate and laced an RBI single through the middle, tying the game at three. Freshman shortstop Danielle Hernandez broke the tie with an RBI single that scored sophomore Genna Main.
The thin cushion turned into a bed of nails.
In the bottom of the fifth, on the first pitch from Dons starter Devon Rodriguez, Roadrunner freshman Danyelle Sturm smashed a home run about 25 feet over the left center field fence, tying the game at four.
Freshman first baseman Sabrina Perez walked to the plate with runners at second and third in the top of the sixth, but the Roadrunners had no intentions of pitching to her. Head Coach Thomas Armstrong called for pitcher Alyssa Fuimaono to intentionally walk Perez.
“That kid (Perez) is a good ball player, she hit two home runs yesterday. I didn’t want her to beat us,” Armstrong said.
But the intentional walk backfired when freshman second baseman Alyssa Yglesias hit a two run single through the box, giving the Dons a 6-4 lead.
“I went up there wanting a hit,” Yglesias said. “It just clutched up for my team.”
Sturm cut the Dons lead to one run in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI sacrifice fly.
“There was no real momentum shift. Two teams fought for seven innings,” Armstrong said.
In the bottom of the seventh, with a runner on and the Roadrunners trailing by one run, Romero hit a pitch from Dons reliever Chantal Oelrich over the left field fence, ending the game in walk-off fashion.