Article, 2007 Season - Women's Softball

Ohlone pulls out win in last of 7th

By Kyle Bonagura, Staff writer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

FREMONT—Before Ohlone College's softball game against College of San Mateo on Tuesday, coach Donna Runyan didn't need to emphasize how important the first-place showdown was—the players were already nervous enough.

If they thought they were experiencing bad cases of butterflies before the game, the seventh inning was no remedy.

After a scare in the top of the inning, the game remained tied heading to the bottom half.

Back-to-back singles by Isabel Ramos and Danielle Yee and an intentional walk to Valerie Briones with two outs loaded the bases for Jessica Soderholm.

She ended the game on the first pitch she saw—and felt—a hit by pitch that gave Ohlone a 2-1 victory.

"We had to get on base any way we could," Runyan said.

And with the bases loaded, the hit by pitch might as well have been a home run.

The win put Ohlone (33-8, 19-3 Coast Conference) in sole possession of first place and allows the Renegades to control their destiny with two games to play.

San Mateo dropped a game behind and to claim a piece of the title needs to win out and hope for an Ohlone loss.

Possibly lost in the postgame celebration were some defensive heroics in the top half of the seventh inning.

With the score locked at 1-1, Jessic Woodly doubled (her second of the game) to give San Mateo runners at second and third with two outs.

The next batter, Heather Huddleston, hit what appeared to be an RBI single to right field, but right fielder Danielle Yee charged, fielded the ball and threw it to first base for the third out, beating Huddleston by a split-second.

"At first they were cheering, then we started cheering, it was fun," Runyan said. "We practice that every day—throws from right-center and right field, to first base."

"I was so nervous," said Ramos, Ohlone's pitcher. "But my defense has been so good all year, so I knew Danielle would make the play. I had nightmares about this game all night. We spent all day practicing, it was really important and a big confidence-booster."

Aside from two doubles and one run in the third inning and the shaky seventh, Ramos was lights-out in the circle. She scattered five hits and struck out three.

Until the seventh, Michelle Tating was just as good for the Bulldogs, striking out five, including a rare four-strikeout second inning.

The Renegades' first run also came in uncommon fashion. With two strikes on Danielle Cameron and Kassy Winger on second base, Winger attempted to steal third. The pitch was strike three, but it got past the catcher, and Cameron ran safely to first. On the catcher's throw to first, Cameron flew around third to score, giving Ohlone an early 1-0 lead.

Ohlone has two games remaining (Foothill and City College of San Jose) and has a chance to gain a top-four seed, ensuring home-field through the first two rounds of the state tournament.

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