SBCC got off to a fast start in Thursday's softball home opener at Pershing Park but Bakersfield finished strong in the last four innings to register a 13-5 win in six innings.
The Vaqueros (0-2) scored their first runs of the year and grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The first six batters reached base on five hits and a walk. Madison Foster drove in Emily LoneTree with a single through the left side to make it 1-0. Starting pitcher Paige Powell and third baseman Lauren Del Campo had RBI singles while right fielder Naomi Churchill capped the rally with a run-scoring double to left field.
Bakersfield (2-3) bounced back with a four-spot of its own in the second. Natilee Parrish had a two-run double and the inning was extended by an infield error that led to three unearned runs. Parrish paced the Renegades with a 3-4 day that included two doubles and two RBIs.
The Vaqueros regained the lead, 5-4, in the second when Foster singled with two outs, went to second on an infield single by Powell and scored on Del Campo's single to right.
Del Campo, a freshman from Claremont, went 3-4 with two RBIs. Foster, who led the Vaqueros in hitting (.337) two years ago, was 2-4 with an RBI and two runs. Powell went 2-2 and LoneTree was 2-4 from the leadoff position as SBCC piled up 13 hits.
The Renegades added four more in the third to take an 8-5 advantage and chased the left-handed Powell from the circle after 2.2 innings. Carson Dunckley got the last out in the third and allowed four runs on four hits in 2.1 innings.
Parrish drilled a line drive off Powell's left shoulder three batters into the game and that may have affected Powell.
"Anytime you get hit as a pitcher, you get a little bit rattled," said third-year SBCC coach Justine Bosio. "You have to adjust your mindset the rest of the game. It was hard to tell how much it affected her but as a former pitcher myself, it does freak you out a little anytime you get rocked."
Bakersfield finished with 15 hits, including four doubles and a two-run homer in the fourth by Jayden Beam.
"We did a good job of scoring in the first inning after getting shutout in our first game," said Bosio. "When they came back and scored, I think we tightened up a little bit and weren't loose at the plate like we were in the first inning."
Sydney Barnes started for Bakersfield and surrendered four runs in the first five batters without getting an out. Arianna Gutierrez, a freshman left-hander, relieved Barnes on the sixth batter and shut down the Vaqueros the rest of the way. She allowed one run on nine hits in six innings with four strikeouts and one walk.
"Their second pitcher was left-handed and that was a different viewpoint for us," noted Bosio.
The Vaqueros will host Saddleback for a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.