Having lost five of its last seven outings, the Gavilan College softball team earned the pick-me-up it needed, sending off visiting Mission College 8-0 in six innings Tuesday in Gilroy.
The Coast Conference cross division win puts the Rams one game below .500 (5-6 conference, 13-19-1 overall) in the Coast Conference South with seven to play and counted toward the their first win streak – albeit a brief two-game run – since they rattled off three straight March 6-10.
“This was a good one for us to have because we have been on a bit of a losing streak,” starting pitcher Jenny Barboa said. “We need to keep this going now.”
Barboa encountered little trouble Tuesday, extending momentum gained after striking out the side in the top of the first throughout the rest of her nine-strikeout effort.
“My curve and rise ball were really good today,” Barboa said. “I’ve been in a slump myself, so coming out of that helps big time.”
Barboa allowed just six Saints to reach base, two of which were disposed of in timely fashion on the base paths by catcher Shayna Osuna, who threw out two runners leaning too far off of first base.
“It makes me have no worries. She is the best,” Barboa said of her backbone behind the plate.
The one jam Barboa faced – a two-on, no out dilemma – she worked out of just as quickly. In the top of the fifth, Barboa surrendered a pair of back-to-back singles, and then gave up free 60 feet with a wild pitch. However, the sophomore preceded to strikeout the next three hitters to quell the threatening situation and preserve a 0-0 tie.
That seemed to spark the Rams’ bats in their half of the fifth. Adrianna Osuna led off the frame with a single. Barboa added a single one batter later, leaving runners on first and second with one out. Ana Jericoff laid down a bunt to the right of Mission pitcher Cherlyn Trujillo whose throw went between two Saints fielders hovering around first base and into right field, which allowed Osuna to trot in for a 1-0 lead.
Danielle Vallejo blooped an RBI-single to center to bring in Barboa and set the stage for Elaina Vasquez. The freshman out of Gilroy High rapped a 0-1 pitch to the gap in right-center field that skipped to the fence. Rounding second, Vasquez ( 2 for 3, four RBIs) took a look at third base coach Danielle Scibuola and turn on the burners around third and to the plate for a three-run inside-the-park home run and a 5-0 Gavilan advantage.
“On our team, once one person gets a hit, it’s a chain reaction for us. It’s all we need to do every time,” Barboa said.
The Rams collected 10 of their 11 hits in the final two innings, including five in a three-run sixth that gave them the eight-run lead and ended the contest due to the mercy rule.
Adrianna Osuna, Shayna Osuna, Vallejo, Vasquez and Hailey Nelson all had hits in the sixth. Vasquez’s and Nelson’s (2) went for RBIs.
The Rams have a quick turnaround and travel Wednesday to take on City College of San Francisco.