Warrior softball was back in action this week, in a home-and-away series against league rival Ridgeview.
The team started the week with a home game on Tuesday. The Wolf Pack managed to push 2 runs across in the top of the first, to take a quick 2-0 lead. The Warriors would respond in the home half of the fourth, with a double from sophomore Emma Barrett, followed by an RBI single from senior Meghan Daffern, who later scored on a Ridgeview error to tie the game at 2-2.
The tie would be short-lived, however, as Ridgeview plated 3 more in the top of the fifth and 2 more in the sixth to take a 7-2 lead. The Warriors stubbornly fought back, though, pushing across 3 runs in the bottom half of the sixth, thanks to a lead-off triple by Barrett, singles from Daffern and junior Sierra Brown, and a 2-out, 2-RBI single from senior Deanna Hammer.
The score would remain at 7-5 until the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Warriors again threatened, with senior Kennedy Caudle hitting a lead-off single to bring the tying run to the plate. Caudle would advance no further, however, as a game-ending double play spoiled the Warriors' comeback hopes.
The tag-team pitching duo of Daffern and Bailey Damian was charged with just 2 earned runs, while striking out 7, but 6 Warrior errors accounted for the additional runs. Offensive stars included Daffern, going a stellar 3-for-3 with 2 RBI's, Barrett (2-4 with a double and a triple), and Caudle (2-4 with a double).
The Warriors then traveled to Bakersfield to take on the Wolf Pack again on Thursday. This one was more of a classic pitcher's duel, with zeroes on the scoreboard up until the bottom of the fourth inning. Ridgeview managed to push across a pair of runs on a hit batter, a bunt, and a couple of Warrior errors. Tehachapi would respond in a big way in the sixth, however. A lead off single by senior Kristen Burgeis was followed by a 2-run homer from Daffern, to knot the game at 2-2. Not to be outdone, fellow pitcher Damian strode to the plate and smashed another solo homer, the first of her career, to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead going into the final inning.
The Wolf Pack managed to get 2 runners aboard on a single and a walk in the bottom of the seventh, but were down to their last out. A ground ball to shortstop Caudle was fielded cleanly, but a controversial call on the throw to first led to two runs scoring and a heart-breaking 4-3 Ridgeview win. The field umpire actually began to call the batter out before changing his call to safe, leaving Warrior fans in stunned disbelief.
The squad had nothing to hang their heads over, however, pounding out 9 hits on the day, including the back-to-back homers. Multiple hit games were had by Burgeis, Damian and Daffern, with Hammer, Brown, and Caudle adding hits as well. In the circle, Damian scattered 3 hits, while giving up no earned runs and striking out 6 batters in 5 innings of work.
The Warriors now have two league games remaining, an away/home pair this week against winless West. The team will recognize their graduating seniors this Thursday, May 2, on their annual Senior Day. Game time is 4 p.m.
Paul Askins is a parent with the team.