The sun warmed up the field to an ideal 64 degrees. That was until the icy cold winds gave both teams and the fans at the Glendale Sports Complex the chills for the duration of the 2 1/2-hour game.
Despite the cold weather, the Lady Vaqueros and the Renegades were involved in a heated slugfest. Both teams combined for a total of 14 runs but it was the Vaqueros who emerged as victors with a score of 8 to 6.
“Hitting the ball saved us. Our defense was weak,” said head coach Dave Wilder. “We made some freshman mistakes out there.”
The Renegades were the first to strike in the game with a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. However, the Vaqueros were quick to respond and tied the game at the bottom of the second.
The Lady Vaqueros then turned up the heat in the third inning. The Renegades allowed Glendale to load up the bases after their infielder dropped a throw. Lexi Hernandez, Rachel Allen, Melissa Sanchez and Brittni Spear all scored runs for the Vaqueros.
Unfortunately for the Vaqueros, the Renegades quickly retaliated in the top of the fourth inning with a barrage of hits and got back into the game now only down 5 to 4.
The Lady Vaqs’ will to win would not be challenged in the bottom of the fourth inning. Allen and Sanchez were able to quickly get on first and second base with singles.
Spear extended the Vaqueros’ lead to four with a high flying double to the outfield. An errant throw to second base on that same play allowed Spear, Sanchez and Allen to score three runs.
Despite the great display of offense by the Vaqueros, their defensive woes continued.
Bakersfield scored two runs to bring the lead down to only two in the top of the seventh inning. The home team started to become restless and the away team looked like they had a chance to tie or get the lead.
However, Vaquero pitcher Jennifer Meza was able to seal the victory in the seventh inning with two strikeouts.
“I’m just glad we came through with the win,” said Meza. “We could have played better defense to make it easier for us. The most important thing for us is to continue to improve step by step.”
“If we played better defense, Meza wouldn’t have had to pitch such a long game,” said Wilder. “The length of the game hurt her pitching.”
The game was stopped for five minutes when infielder freshman Brittany Morrison of the Renegades injured herself after attempting to catch a line drive toward second base and landed on her left shoulder. The game resumed when Morrison was able to walk off the field without assistance.
The Vaqueros will play next at Citrus College at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The next home game is a double header against L.A. Valley College starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.