By Ray Hamill, Rhamill@times-Standard.com
A familiar problem continued to plague the Corsairs at College of the Redwoods on Wednesday, as they dropped both ends of a softball doubleheader to Shasta.
The Redwoods women have made a habit of playing tough teams close this spring, and as head coach Maggie White has pointed out, they may not have a great record but they have not been an easy win for most teams.
That was the case once again against Shasta as the Corsairs lost a pair of close games, 2-1 and 6-4. Unfortunately, so too was a lack of timely hitting, a problem that has hounded the team this season.
“I felt like we competed with Shasta very well. We just didn’t get the hit when we needed it,” White said.
Defensively the Corsairs were outstanding at times, and they got a couple of strong outings from pitcher Ashley Stockwell.
Stockwell was forced into double duty with injury limiting Megan Cullinane, who normally starts one of the two games.
Stockwell, however, appeared well up to the task, with a controlled performance backed by some spectacular defense, as she forced the visitors into several groundouts.
In game one, shortstop Madison Acres had nine assists, while third baseman Karlie Murray had seven assists.
“Our defense really impressed me today,” White said. “That means Ashley is putting the ball where we want it. The game plan we had defensively was met today.”
But while they were able to stay close to the visitors throughout both games, ultimately they were unable to get that clutch hit to catch them, while seeing opportunities wasted.
In game two, the Knights stretched their lead to three with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. The Corsairs had a chance to pull them back in the bottom half of the inning after loading the bases, only to see the opportunity go for nothing.
The Corsairs did pull two back in the fifth. Pheobe Marsh led off with a single to shallow center field, and was joined on base moments later by Dawn Waterman after an infield error.
Megan Dunlap then advanced both runners on a sac bunt, before Stockwell drove in a run. Stockwell finished 0-for-2 at the plate but drove home two of her team’s runs.
Acres, who was outstanding defensively all day, then singled to make it 5-4.
That, however, was as close as the Corsairs would come, and after the visitors added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, a Cullinane single to lead off the bottom half of the inning was all the home team could muster.
In the second game, Marsh and Waterman each finished 2-for-3, while Gizelle Lucero was 1-for-3 with a double.
With the losses, the Corsairs are now 2-6 in the Golden Valley Conference and 7-16 overall, while Shasta improved to 3-5 and 12-10.
The CR women will play again at home on April 20 against Siskiyous.