Rams Start Building Momentum with Victories over Porterville

Freshman+third+baseman+Mary+Mets+during+an+at-bat+in+the+first+game+of+a+doubleheader+against+Porterville+College+on+Tuesday%2C+March+10.+Nets+has+been+an+influential+player+at+the+top+if+the+Rams%27+lineup.

Photo by: Patrick Henslee

Freshman third baseman Mary Mets during an at-bat in the first game of a doubleheader against Porterville College on Tuesday, March 10. Nets has been an influential player at the top if the Rams' lineup.

Story By: Patrick Henslee, Sports Editor

The Fresno City College softball team started their climb back into contention by downing Porterville College by scores of 9-8 in game one and 9-1 in game two during their doubleheader on Tuesday, March 10. 

The wins evened the team’s record at 10-10, but they hope to start picking up speed halfway through the season. The Rams entered the game with a record below .500, winning only two of their last seven games. 

“I think where we get beat is when we don’t take care of the little things. Talent-wise they’re fantastic- it’s the controllables,” said head coach Haley Janzer. “Are you engaged whether you’re in the game or not? Are you pre-pitch talking? Putting down the bunts, taking the extra bases? When we don’t win, it’s when we don’t take advantage of those little things.”

Sophomore Kaitlyn Delgadillo started game one for the Rams but unlucky hits got her into trouble, and she allowed four hits and three runs in just three innings. 

In the third inning with the Pirates up 3-0, the Rams put together a 3-run inning, capped off by a 2-run blast by sophomore Emily Puente. 

Puente would take the ball from sophomore Brianah Stafford in the fourth inning, after she struggled to find the zone and couldn’t record an out. However, Puente would inherit the baserunners, with the heart of the lineup coming up.

Porterville put down a beating, with sophomore first baseman Kuea Angilau smashing a 3-run homer that left the players and attendees standing in awe. The home run was her conference-leading tenth of the season.

“We were trying to pitch around her and she hit a homerun. She’s a fantastic hitter,” said Janzer. “If you walk her or get her to ground out, it’s a huge win. If you get her to single it’s a win.”

In the fifth inning, the Rams handed the ball to sophomore Taylor Dubois, who shutout the Pirates’ lineup for the remainder of the game. This proved to be more than enough time for FCC to get back into the ball game.

They started the fifth inning rally off with a single, and would keep clawing away until sophomore utility player Kassandra Expose lifted a 2-run home run over the left field fence to take the lead for good at 9-8. 

The Rams trusted Dubois to keep rolling, letting her start in the circle for game two. Dubois would reassure them with three more solid innings, totalling six innings, three strikeouts, three hits and one run, another home run from Angilau.

“Taylor is a great drop ball and down ball pitcher, so her against big-swinging teams and teams that’ve got a lot of power, she’s funky enough to throw them off,” said Janzer. “The thing with Taylor is just getting her to believe ‘I don’t need strikeouts; I just need ground balls.’”

Fresno’s offense would have an entirely different plan in their second matchup, capitalizing on Porterville’s mistakes by consistently applying pressure with aggressive baserunning, keeping patient approaches at the plate and snowballing momentum in their favor. 

Before they knew it, the Rams were aiming to end the game in five innings via the 8-run mercy rule. They’d finally do so with an extra base hit by freshman infielder Mary Mets that scored the winning run from first.

FCC has now won four straight games after losing five in a row, and Janzer says the turnaround is driven by the team’s energy and change in attitude. 

“The dugout, I think plays a huge role in how you’re able to come back from a big inning from somebody else,” she said. “We’ve kind of realized ‘Okay, people are going to swing hard at us. Let’s swing back.’”

The Rams will start another road trip before returning home to play the Reedley College Tigers in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 24 at 1 p.m.