By Lauren Jennings |Sports Editor|
The Coyote softball team has been fairly strong the entire season, taking three out of four games from no. 1 ranked Humboldt State, recording multiple, lengthy win streaks and sweeping San Francisco State in their final home series.
Overall, the team posted a record of 16-4 when playing at home. Only two of the other 10 teams have better home records.
Before the team played their first game, Coyote Softball Field got a bit of a face-lift, including a new scoreboard and the addition of a portable locker room.
The Coyotes played their first home games of the season against UC San Diego. They won three of the four games, needing extra innings to win the final game of the series.
Shortstop Kaylee Gemmell hit a walk-off single to win the first game after the Coyotes made a comeback from being down by three runs. Catcher Jessica Brown hit a three-run home run in game two, accounting for three of the team’s four runs.
The Coyotes fell to San Diego in game one of day two but again won game two, this time on a walk-off single by second baseman Briana Quintana.
They split the next series at home with Monterey Bay, winning both games on day one, but losing both on day two.
The team scored 10 runs in game one, scoring five in the second inning. In game two, the Coyotes had just six hits to Monterey’s 15, but they walked away with a 4-3 win.
The next home series was a big one as the Coyotes took on no.1 Humboldt State. They played hard and took three of the four games from the Lumberjacks.
A three-run home run by pinch-hitter Caitlyn Olan in the sixth gave the Coyotes the final push they needed to put away Humboldt in game one, winning 9-1. In game two, a two-run triple by Morgan Ratliff got a six-run third inning started.
The team played in the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, California, losing the first game, but going on to win the remaining five on March 31.
They continued their win streak when they returned home, sweeping Cal State Dominguez Hills in four games.
First baseman Taylor Ancona hit two home runs in the series opener, aiding in the Coyotes 11-1 victory. In game two, the Coyotes held Dominguez scoreless, winning 8-0.
The team repeated their success the next day, winning game one 9-1 and game two 9-8.
In three of the four games, the Coyotes scored enough runs to enact the mercy rule. The mercy rule goes into effect when a team has an eight-run lead over their opponent after five innings of play.
Overall, the Coyotes enforced the mercy rule seven times, with five of them occurring at home.
The Coyotes took on Stanislaus State, earning a win in game one of their doubleheader. That win marked 10 in a row for the team, on April 14.
They lost the second game against the Warriors but picked up right where they left off the next day, winning the final two games.
The team returned home to play San Francisco and earned their third series sweep of the season.
In the first game of the series, starting pitcher Cassandra Williams pitched a one-hitter as the Coyotes won 1-0. The team needed a walk-off to win game two which came on a bases-loaded single from the second baseman Monica Maddox.
The final set of games took place on Senior and Family Day, seeing the Coyotes take their second straight walk-off courtesy of Maddox who scored the game winner on a wild pitch. The final game was a big one for the team as Brown hit a grand slam in the fifth, giving them the edge and an 8-2 win.
Last season, the Coyotes narrowly missed the playoffs, finishing the season in fifth place with a record of 32-23.
This season, the playoffs look a lot more promising as the Coyotes have a two-game lead over the Chico Wildcats heading into the final weekend of the season.
Update: The Coyotes fell to the East Bay Pioneers in game one of the doubleheader on April 28, but won game two. They won both games of the April 29 doubleheader, securing them a spot in the CCAA playoffs.
The team finished second in the CCAA and will play Humboldt on May 5 in the first round of the CCAA Tournament.
The Coyotes lost against Humboldt State and CSU Monterey Bay, taking them out of the CCAA playoffs.
On May 8, it was announced that the team earned a spot in the NCAA West Regional Tournament. They will take on Chico State May 11.
The Coyotes defeated Chico State 5-2. They will take on Humboldt on May 12.
The Coyotes fell to Humboldt 5-1. They play Chico again at 4 p.m. on May 12.