By C. Harold Pierce
Down by two runs against Cypress College in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday, sophomore outfielder Heather Robertson was called in to pinch-hit with two runners on base.
Robertson’s three-RBI walk-off home run Wednesday clinched a victory for the Dons. They were hoping for a repeat performance.
“I was hoping for a good hard line drive to make something happen. It’s a crucial situation and it’s a lot of pressure, but I know she can handle it and I know she’d be the one I’d put in again in that situation,” Dons Co-Head Coach Jessica Rapoza said.
Robertson struck out swinging.
The Dons lost 8-6 to the visiting Cypress College Chargers.
Despite a late rally in the sixth inning, the Dons could not overcome a two run lead the Chargers ran up on the team after the fourth inning.
Freshman leftfielder Emily Whitecavage scored off a Natalie Wolf triple in the first inning and sophomore centerfielder Keila Tenorio scored off Annie Dowling’s double to center field in the second.
After that, the Dons went scoreless for four innings.
“We didn’t do a good job of putting the ball on the ground earlier in the game,” Rapoza said.
In the fourth inning, the Chargers scored four runs off six hits, taking a lead that the Dons never regained.
“They [the Chargers] were hitting the ball hard and the ball started finding open area and I think it was just us getting hit pitches and us making solid contact that helped us out,” Chargers Head Coach Brad Pickler said.
Starting pitcher Lindsey Esparza gave up three runs in the fourth inning after throwing three innings with two strikeouts.
The Dons battled in the sixth inning, scoring four runs. Dowling doubled to center, driving in sophomore centerfielder Keila Tenorio and freshman infielder Cynthia Rice. Two outs later, Dowling scored off freshman Emily Whitecavage’s double to center and Alyssa Yglesias drove Dowling home with a single up the middle.
The squad has not defeated Cypress College this year, losing 3-2 Feb. 19 when the Chargers broke the Dons 15 game winning streak with a walk-off win in extra innings.
“They’re good, so we just try to play hard … we know it’s going to be a good contest. Some of them [the players] know each other, so both teams are fired up whenever they play and it’s kind of like a rivalry now,” Pickler said.
The Dons play again at home Friday against Golden West College at 3 p.m.