Cal City ruins Lady Broncs HDL title chances

Audrey Martinez delivers the pitch against Cal City on May 7. Teammate Samantha Wyly is playing third base.

Photo and Story by Ray Conner

Kern Valley’s varsity softball team was set for the league title showdown with the Lady Ravens.

With plenty on the line, the Lady Broncs squad wanted revenge. Just a few weeks earlier, Cal City took control of the HDL by beating Kern Valley 5-1. The Lady Broncs stayed on course and won five straight games to create the regular season ending title scenario. 

Unfortunately, on this day Cal City was the better team and dominated from start to finish. Kern Valley had trouble putting the ball in play as they were struck out 10 times as a team in the five-inning run rule game. The Lady Ravens pitcher threw a no-hitter. The inability of the Lady Broncs to close out innings led to the final score of 11-1.

The Lady Broncs were set down in order in their half of the first inning. Two outs were by strikeout. Cal City took command of the game in the bottom of the first. They were able to score twice with two outs to give them the lead they would never give back. This would be a theme as in the bottom of the third, the Lady Ravens scored four times after two outs in the inning. The Lady Broncs gifted them the runs as they had trouble playing defense. Three fielding miscues helped Cal City tally the four runs.

With the score 6-1, the Lady Broncs had no answer as they were set down in order. Cal City came to bat and added to their total as three runs crossed the plate. The big hit in the inning was a two-run homer to put the score at 9-1. Another no response from Kern Valley and the game was sent to the bottom of the fifth. A single to lead off the inning, a hit by pitch and a free pass loaded the bases. Another fielding miscue allowed two runs to come in and the game was called due to the run-rule.

With the loss, Kern Valley was pushed to second-place in the HDL. Finishing 12-2 and one game behind the Lady Ravens in the standings.

Only three Kern Valley players reached base in the game. Ava Elliot and Haillee Kopperman were issued walks, while Samantha Wyly reached on a fielder’s choice. Kassidy Sietsma went in as a pinch runner and was able to steal a base. Elliott also swiped a base in the game and would score the lone run for the Lady Broncs.

Audrey Martinez took the loss in the circle. She pitched all five innings allowing the 11 runs. She gave up 11 hits, while walking four. She also hit one batter and struck out four.

Head coach Jamie Duran commenting on the game said, “We didn’t win. We weren’t projected to be in this position. Now we have to look toward the CIF playoffs.”

To be put in this position, Kern Valley had to collect a win on the road versus Rosamond. This was done easily as a 11-run inning led them to the 18-8 victory. In the top of the fourth, the Lady Broncs sent 17 batters to face the Rosamond pitcher. 

The score was sitting at 7-4 for the Lady Broncs with three innings complete. When the Lady Roadrunners collected the third out, 11 runs had crossed the plate. Kern Valley in the inning banged out six hits, including a triple and a double. Eight players were given free passes and two batters reached base on an error.

With the score firmly in the Lady Broncs hands, they would close out the game with four more runs. Rosamond failed to respond and the game was called due to the run rule at 19-8. 

Kern Valley was led by Kayley Sietsma she had four hits, including a double and a pair of home runs. One of the home runs were erased as a teammate celebrated early and made contact with her before Sietsma touched home plate. Sietsma was credited with a triple giving her the cycle.

Brooklynn Robertson also had four hits, while Leenah Troller had two hits, including a triple. Ava Rementegui had a pair of hits for Kern Valley. Ava Bates, Wyly, Elliot, Martinez, and Elli Jeans each had one hit in the game.

Martinez picked up the win as she went all five innings. She allowed seven runs on six hits. She walked five and struck out two batters.

With the regular season over Kern Valley will look now to the CIF Playoffs. Playing in Division IV, Lady Broncs will play Orange Cove on the road today. Game time is currently scheduled for 4:30 p.m. A win there and they will take on the Lemoore/Coalinga winner on Friday.