SWC Softball Team Play Hardball
Southwestern Collge Sun
Steven Uhl and Gonzalo Quintana
There is nothing soft about softball star Gabrielle Beasley. The hard-hitting, hard-throwing shortstop-pitcher works hard, plays hard and is hard to ignore.
Beasley is leading her hard-charging teammates on a playoff run worthy of last year’s historic season when the Lady Jags made its first-ever post-season appearance. After a pedestrian start to the season, SWC has become downright hard to beat.
Beasley almost single handedly destroyed the Victor Valley Rams. She hit a two run triple and pitched a shutout in a 9-0 romp the umpires called for the mercy rule.
SWC next clobbered San Bernardino Valley College, 12-4. Beasley led off the bottom of the first with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly.
SBVC scored two runs in the second inning to take the lead, but not for long. Beasley singled in a run, knotting the score, 2-2. SBVC came up to bat and scored three runs to take the lead and they thought the game was over until the Jags were at bat when outfielder Jessica Ramirez hit in two runs making the score 5-4 Jags.
“I had confidence that if I got on base, my teammates hitting after me would keep the rally going and make sure I scored,” said Ramirez.
In the bottom of the inning Jags put together a nice rally capped by a two-run single by Beasley. Infielder Erika Forget hit a two run home run, and the rout was on with the Jags winning, 12-4.
“The girls took advantage of the opportunities and whole heartily took control of the situation towards our advantage,” said head coach Yasmin Mossadeghi.“We executed bunts and solid hits when we had base runners on.”
Early in the season SWC lost a double header to the College of the Desert Roadrunners, 2-1 and 4-3. The Lady Jags started strong as Beasley pitched a one-two-three first inning. She then led off the game for the Jags with a base hit, followed by infielder Stephanie Beltran, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. COD’s pitcher threw a pitch in the dirt, which scored the Jags’ first run.
The Roadrunners scored in the third when a COD batter hit a line drive double down the right field line, which put them up 2-1. The Jags closed out the inning when infielder Sonia Mazon gunned down a runner trying to score at the plate, preventing further damage.
SWC’s dugout became more and more vocal – cheering on their fellow teammates.
When the bottom of the seventh arrived, each voice drowned out the next until the dugout cheers became one unintelligible roar. Jag batters, however, were impatient at the plate swinging at pitches in the dirt to end the game.
In the second game of the doubleheader against College of the Desert, the Lady Jags lost 4-3.
With a runner at second, Mazon hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning.
“I honestly just wanted to make solid contact and on base,” said Mazon.
The Lady Jags did have their chances to put the game out of reach early when they loaded the bases up but a single run did not cross the plate. In the following inning, COD loaded the bases and with one swing of the bat the Jags were down 2-4.The Jags scored on a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-3. COD bounced back with two runs and took a 4-3 lead. Mother Nature then finished off the Lady Jags. Heavy rain began to fall and the umpires called the game in favor of the Roadrunners.
SWC lost to Riverside City College, 4-1 in the season opener.
Riverside’s leadoff batter started the game with a triple and was knocked in on a single with two outs in the top of the first to make the score 1-0, Tigers. Beasley settled down with two strikeouts in the inning.
“I try to forget it, move on to the next batter, and focus on getting three outs so the runner does not score,” said Beasley.
RCC was threatening in the third inning with a runner on third but came up empty with a nice block of the plate by catcher Nikki Berumen.
“I got an adrenaline rush and was excited to block the plate because that’s my favorite thing to do as a catcher,” she said.
Lady Jag players showed signs of life when they were able to get a runner on base, but left her stranded.
RCC added another run in the top of the fourth were on the attack again in the fifth with runners in scoring possession and no outs, but Beasley was able to keep her composure and get two outs. RCC got a clutch hit, however, and ran the score to 4-0. Beasley singled in a run in the sixth to make it a 4-1 final.
Moassadeghi said the early season games have gone well, even the closes losses, and she expects a late-season run like last year’s. The Lady Jags have momentum—and Beasley—on their side.