The No. 1-ranked Yavapai College softball team pushed its win streak to 27 games on Thursday afternoon at Bill Vallely Field, defeating the Matadors of Arizona Western College 10-1 in game one and 7-2 game two. Overall, the Roughriders are 47-2 this season with a 39-1 record in conference games.
Freshman pitcher Emily Darwin started inside the circle in game one and pitched four innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts. Fellow freshman pitcher Abby Cruz pitched a scoreless fifth inning and struck out two Matadors in the process.
Freshman infielder Yaya Kaaialii brought home the game’s first run in the bottom of the first with an RBI single and was followed by fellow freshman infielder Lovey Kepa’a bringing home a run on a fielder’s choice. Later in the frame, freshman infielder Makena Riggs tallied a sacrifice fly to give YC a quick 3-0 lead.
After Arizona Western scored its lone run in the top of the second, the Roughriders pushed four across the plate in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore outfielder Kayla Rodgers doubled in a run, Kaaialii singled her in and Kepa’a followed with a monster two-run homer to center field, her 29th of the season that pushed the lead to 7-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rodgers put the run-rule into effect with a two-run homer to left-center and Riggs followed with an RBI single to make it 10-1.
Sophomore outfielder Mia Weckel, Rodgers and Kaaialii all tallied two hits in the contest while Kepa’a, freshman catcher Jasmine Moreno, Riggs, Darwin and freshman outfielder Sierra Griego all had one.
Weckel provided some early fireworks in game two as she launched a leadoff homer to left-center to get things started.
In the bottom of the second, the Roughriders pushed their lead to 4-0, after a two-run double from Kayla Rodgers who later scored on a passed ball.
Leading 4-0, the Roughrider bats went silent for a couple of innings which opened the door for a Matador rally in the top of the fifth. Arizona Western took advantage of the lack of scoring and pushed a couple of runs across in the frame to cut its deficit in half.
In the bottom of the fifth, however, the renowned power of the Roughriders took center stage and halted any Matador momentum that might have been forming.
Moreno led the frame off with a solo homer and three batters later, Darwin smashed a two-run homer to center field, her first of the season and the first by a Roughrider pitcher this season.
Now with a 7-2 lead, the Roughriders held the Matadors scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to secure the victory and doubleheader sweep.
In game two, Riggs tallied two hits while Weckel, Rodgers, Kaaialii, Kepa’a, Moreno and Darwin all had one.
Inside the circle, sophomore pitcher Emily Dix earned the start and also came on in relief. Overall, she tossed 5.1 innings of one-hit ball with no runs allowed and 12 strikeouts. Cruz and freshman pitcher Genavie Espinoza combined to throw the other 1.2 innings of the ballgame.
The Roughriders are back in action on Saturday, April 30, at Bill Vallely Field for their regular-season home finale where they will face the No. 8-ranked Central Arizona College Vaqueras. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for noon.