No. 1-ranked Solano College softball team sweeps doubleheader from Contra Costa

By From page B1 | March 26, 2014

ROCKVILLE — The win streak continues – in stellar fashion.

The Solano Community College softball team swept a Bay Valley Conference doubleheader from Contra Costa College on Tuesday, upping the Falcons’ win streak to 13 straight games.

The California Community College Athletic Association’s RPI rankings have SCC as the No. 1 in the state with their 20-2 record (6-0 BVC) for the second week in a row.

“The RPI is a power ranking,” Solano coach Terri-Pearson-Bloom said after Tuesday’s 11-1 and 17-2 routs of the Comets. “It’s the only thing that matters. The coaches ranking doesn’t matter. It only matters about the RPI. That’s what dictates your ranking, how strong is your schedule, everything like that. So it tells you that our preseason (schedule) was very strong.

“We schedule the right teams (to boost the RPI). We’ve had a lot of success and that’s what’s made us No. 1. . . . We’re playing really well. We’ve got a real good team and they’re playing well.”

Contra Costa didn’t stand a chance against the Falcons two starting pitchers Tuesday.

Amber Takeda pitched all five innings in the opener, allowing just two hits and two runs while walking three.

Amanda Diego threw all five innings in the second game, allowing just two runs on two hits while striking out four.

“The pitching is great,” Pearson-Bloom said. “Today we threw (Diego). That was her first start. (No. 1 pitcher) Shannon Mestas, who has 12 wins for us, sat today. Amanda is a young, developing pitcher. She’s learned two new pitches here. I expect to continue to develop and make an impact, especially more her sophomore year.

“And Amber Takeda, she’s a sophomore. She’s matured and she’s a great pitcher. She’s consistent and she’s swinging (the bat) great. She can hit the ball over the fence.”

Aleyna Benipayo and Takeda provided all the offense SCC would need in the first game, each connecting for three-run homers. Jade Bactad also homered in the opener, with Emily Goode adding a double and two RBIs and Victoria Faleafine a triple.

Benipayo came back in the second game and opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. Goode and Bactad also had RBI singles in the frame to give the Falcons an early 4-0 lead.

After Diego faced just four batters in the top of the second, SCC blew the game open with six more runs, two of which came on RBI doubles by Takeda and Bactad. Benipayo also had an RBI single in the inning.

Diego then sat down the Comets in order in the top of the third before Solano tacked on six more runs. Jasmine Hornsby-Edwards and Takeda had two-run doubles in the inning, with Bactad also collecting another RBI.

Diego faced just four more batters in the fourth and five in the fifth to finish the contest. The Comets’ only two runs coming on a pair of errors by the Falcons in the fifth.

Pearson-Bloom knows why her team is on a hot streak. It has nothing to do with luck.

“It’s about the hard work,” the coach said. “It’s about the kids getting quality practice in. They’re putting a lot of effort and time into it and focus on their hitting and it’s paying off for them.

“They can do everything. They can drop it (bunt). They are getting a lot of hits on bunts. We have speed. Then when (our opponents) play us up, we drive it down their throats. Then those same kids can drive the ball to the fence. There’s nothing that they can’t do. It all comes from the hard work and training.”

All this winning has also brought confidence to a team which isn’t afraid of anything.

“They know they can play with anybody,” Pearson-Bloom said. “They just have to play their game. They know they are capable of hitting every pitcher we face. And they know that our pitching can handle every team that we face.

“Then we just have to bring out defense. That’s a huge aspect to it all. You have to bring your defense. When there are close games, one-, two-run ball games, that’s when the better teams show that it comes to who makes more mistakes and who can make the big plays. We spent a lot of time training on defense, too.”

Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.

Brian Arnold

Brian Arnold

1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.

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