Softball advances in the playoffs


Erin Smith

Natalie Larsen charges to first base in the playoff game against Merced on May 8.

Erin Smith, Inquirer Staff

The Diablo Valley College softball team came back after a loss during a double header this past Sunday, allowing them to advance in the playoffs.

DVC pitcher Nicole Nordahl entered the second game focused and re-energized after a 8-2 loss to Merced.

DVC managed to get on the board first when Bailey Simmons hit a home run in the top of the third. “I didn’t expect it to be a home run, I just saw a ball there and tried to meet it out in front,” said Simmons.

This set the pace for DVC. Despite three balls and only one strike in the bottom of the third, Nordahl grabbed a ground ball and managed an out at first. First baseman Cynthia Duenas helped out Nordahl by securing the third out and keeping DVC ahead.

No runs were scored in the top of the fourth, but Laurel Poff and Katie Kaprive both got hits. Duenas continued to help out Nordahl with great defense on first base in the bottom of the fourth and almost hit a home run in the top of the fifth.

With two outs and runners on first and second base, sloppy field work and a worn out pitcher allowed Merced to tie up the game, 1-1. Defense came to Nordahl’s aid and with runners on first and third bases, Simmons and Duenas made a spectacular defensive play and got the third out needed.

In the top of the sixth inning with Julia Pelletier on third, Poff stole second and Reyna Sherbourne walked. DVC found themselves in a fortunate position with only one out and bases loaded. Julianna Deighton got a base hit, bringing the score to 2-1. Kaitlin Van Motman brought in two more runs, giving DVC a substantial lead of 4-1. Simmons came up to bat with runners on second and third and brought them both in with a base hit, giving DVC a five run lead on Merced, 6-1.

DVC defense made quick work of  Merced with three quick outs in the bottom of the sixth, and made no additional run in the top of the seventh.

With just three outs left, DVC entered the last portion of the final inning of a playoff game they never thought they’d make. It was left up to Nordahl to secure the win, and amazingly she did so despite being the only pitcher for DVC.

“Defense is the most important part of the game, defense wins games,” said Nordahl. “If they’re hitting off me, it’s necessary to have defense behind me.”

DVC heads to Fresno to take on the Rams, Friday May 13.