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Taft takes two from Vaqueros

Paige Powell pitched a stong seven innings in Game 1, holding the Cougars to two unearned runs on eight hits. (Photo by Dave Loveton/SBCC Sports Information)
Paige Powell pitched a stong seven innings in Game 1, holding the Cougars to two unearned runs on eight hits. (Photo by Dave Loveton/SBCC Sports Information)

Taft rallied late to edge SBCC 2-1 in the Vaqueros' softball home opener on Tuesday, then erupted for 11 runs in the first two innings of a 15-5 win in the nightcap at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros fell to 1-5 and the Cougars evened their record at 3-3.

Paige Powell, a freshman left-hander from San Marcos High, pitched well enough to win as she blanked the visitors on four hits through the first five innings. The Vaqueros took a 1-0 lead in the second when Powell singled to left, went to third on a double by Shelby Featherston and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kayana Diaz.

Taft evened the game with an unearned run in the sixth. An error, a fielder's choice and a single put runners at first and second. Allie Dobbs' single brought home Morgan Thomas to tie it 1-1.

Vaquero shortstop Emily LoneTree turned an unassisted double play after Victoria Rosales singled to lead off the seventh. Jade Martinez was hit by a pitch, Abrianna Carr singled to right and Thomas reached on an error. Martinez went to third and kept on going to score another unearned run that gave Taft a 2-1 lead.

Carr held the Vaqueros to three hits and just four baserunners.

"Paige threw very well for us," said second-year coach Justine Bosio. "I told the girls, 'Anytime you can hold a team to one run through six innings, you'll have a great chance to win.' We definitely need to do a better job of making adjustments on the fly."

Featherston started the second game and struggled in the first inning, giving up nine runs on three hits, four walks and two hit batters. Cierra Papademetriou added a two-run double in the second to boost the margin to 11-0.

"We have two pitchers this year, which is awesome because a lot of times at this level, you only have one," Bosio noted. "We still definitely have some things we need to work on. When you have a large group of freshmen, sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to get all the game kinks out."

Eight of the Vaqueros' 11 players are freshmen and five are local products from Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and Carpinteria Highs.

The Vaqueros scored twice in their half of the second when Featherston doubled to left, Diaz walked and both scored on a double by Hannah Weaver. Weaver was 2-3 with two RBIs.

Taft scored four times in the fourth to stretch the lead to 15-2.

The Vaqueros sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth and scored three times. Featherston singled, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a passed ball. Carranza brought home Janet Salas on a bases-loaded walk and Weaver scored on a wild pitch.

"We were finally able to see their pitcher and then when they brought in a new pitcher, we were able to hit her a little bit," said Bosio. "It's a small victory anytime you can get runners on."

The Vaqueros will play 12 of 14 on the road in February, starting on Friday with a 2 p.m. game at Saddleback.