Corsairs Softball Shut Out

Santa Monica College softball swings and misses again. The Corsairs are now 0-2 in conference games after a rough 14-0 loss to Ventura. On Feb. 27th, 2018, the Corsairs met the Pirates from Ventura College in a home conference game. Ventura is currently ranked #2 in the Western State Conference while the Corsairs are sitting at #13. Ventura is the reigning champion of the conference, and they are looking to take the title again.

The Corsairs got off to a slow start and let six runs through in the top of the first. This was Ventura’s highest scoring inning, but they definitely did not let off of the gas pedal. They followed up with another three runs in the top of the second. The only home run was hit by Ventura’s first baseman #18 Angelina Flores, who scored three times throughout the game. A majority of these runs were hit off of pitches from the Corsair’s #3 Freshman Ashley Nava. Nava is the Corsair’s latest addition to the team and has little experience pitching. Head Coach Phillip Gomez made the decision to start Nava at pitcher so she could get more reps and grow as a pitcher. Nava was finally taken out in the top of the 5th inning for #23 Taylor Liebesman, who tried to give the Corsairs hope, but it was far too late. Liebesman is a freshman pitcher and infielder who is also the Corsair’s leading scorer, with 11 runs to date.

Coach Gomez talked about the game’s rough start, since this has become a reoccurring issue for the Corsairs. “The best experience is doing it in a game. The first inning has actually been one of our roughest innings all season, but I think we're getting better with that and have become more confident,” Gomez said. Unfortunately, Gomez’s strategy to practice live hitting in preparation for this game was no match for Ventura’s #54 Megan Best. Best pitched until the bottom of the 4th inning and clearly showed up to play. A no-hitter is very impressive at any level of softball, let alone in this competitive conference.

#14 freshman Nichole Valdez was the game’s standout player, going 3/3 at bat. Valdez also had an impressive performance at center field, making it a no fly zone for Ventura. She seemed to be the Corsair's toughest defender, as she made multiple diving catches to give the Corsairs some momentum. Valdez was asked how she could help her team improve and her response was, “I think I can help the team improve by bringing more energy to the dugout.”

The Corsairs take on #6 Cuesta College on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in an away game. The Corsairs are hoping to pull of a win against the highly-ranked team, although this is not a conference game. The Corsairs' next conference game is next Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. in John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, Calif.