Bakersfield, CA - The Palomar College softball team scored all six of their runs in the fifth and sixth innings, as they rallied late to eliminate NorCal #3 San Joaquin Delta College on Monday morning. The Comets, the #3 seed out of Southern California, kept their 2019 CCCAA Softball State Championship hopes alive in a 6-4 victory over the Mustangs.
San Joaquin Delta would deal the first blow of the game when a double to right by sophomore Mikaela Ferreira brought in sophomore Morgan Wheeler for an early 1-0 lead. The Mustangs would add another in the top of the fourth when sophomore Janelle Rodriguez roped a double off the center field fence to bring in sophomore Delaney Pamplin and make it 2-0.
In the circle, Delta's Pamplin was in control early. Pamplin allowed just one hit and no walks through the first four innings. Things came apart in the fifth for the the Mustangs, but it had nothing to do with the play of Pamplin in the circle. Delta would commit two big errors in the inning, leading to five unearned runs by the Comets.
After being shut down over the first four innings, the Comets took advantage of back-to-back one-out errors by San Joaquin Delta to jump start their offense. Sophomore Megan Wachholtz would rip a double down the left-field line that tie up the game after scoring sophomore Sarah Fisher and sophomore Jilian Zamora.
Sophomore Kylie Pignone would follow that up with a RBI single back up the middle, and the Comets added yet another run on a third error by the Mustangs in the inning. Before it was all said and done sophomore Allie Hughen would drive in a fifth run in the inning, this on a single back through the center of the field to make it 5-2.
San Joaquin Delta would claw their way back into the game in the top of the sixth. A Palomar error would lead the Mustangs' first run of the inning, before a fielder's choice led to another to make it 4-5. In the bottom half of the inning, the Comets would get one run back on another RBI by Wachholtz.
In the top of the seventh, Hughen would look to close out the game for the Comets. She would issue a lead-off walk to sophomore Tawny Deerinck, but then settled down, striking out the next two batters and get a groundout to third to end the game.
Hughen (14-2) would earn the win, pitching the final three innings, giving up two unearned runs, issuing two walks, and striking out three. Wachholtz finished the game 2-for-4 with a run and 3 RBIs. Hughen ended up helping her own cause going 2-for-2 with an RBI.
For San Joaquin Delta, Pamplin (29-7), scattered seven hits and a pair of walks over six innings of work, striking out five. Pamplin gave up just one earned run on the day, while going 2-for-2 at the plate.
With the win, Palomar (40-9) moves through the elimination bracket and will take on NorCal #1 College of San Mateo (43-3) with a berth in the State Championship Game on the line. San Joaquin Delta (38-9) meanwhile sees their strong 2019 campaign come to a close.