By Ray Conner
The varsity Lady Broncs softball team moved closer to capturing the High Desert League with a pair of wins.
Last year’s champions, Desert came to town looking to get back into the race for the title. Kern Valley had other ideas as the two teams squared off.
The Lady Broncs were unbeaten coming into the game, while the Lady Scorpions were sitting one game behind at 6-1.
The two teams matched each other through two innings of play. Neither squad crossed the plate leaving the score at 0-0 through two.
In the third inning, Desert was left with zero as the Lady Broncs came to bat. When the inning was over, the Lady Broncs were holding a 2-0 lead.
The rest of the way, the pitchers were in command, but Kern Valley had enough on the board to claim the victory and move to 8-0 in the HDL.
Desert left the valley sporting a 6-2 mark and sitting two games behind.
Helen Hayes in the circle picked up the victory as she went all seven innings. She allowed just three hits and walked three batters. She struck out 13 to collect the win and the shut out.
The Kern Valley offense collected seven hits in the game. They were led by Aryan Meyers and Haily Martinez with two hits apiece. Brenna Acosta, Hayes and Sadi Hartman each had one hit for the Lady Broncs.
Head coach Brianna Moss said, “It was a well-played game on both sides. The two runs we scored came on an error at home with bases loaded and then a bases loaded walk. We had an incredible double play to end the sixth inning. Desert had a runner at third with one out. They bunted and Haily Martinez fielded it perfectly, throwing to first base and then Lexi Baker made a perfect throw to Sadi Hartman at home to tag the Desert player out. This was our biggest game of league so far and it was a great, hard-fought win. The girls are playing well and hitting well right now.”
This same week, Kern Valley played a pair of Wasco Tournament games before taking on Frazier Mountain to continue HDL action. In the game against the Lady Falcons it was all Kern Valley as they grabbed the 11-1 win to move to 9-0 in league.
Win the victory over the Lady Falcons, Kern Valley reduced its magic number to win the league to two. With just three games to play.
The Lady Broncs took control early and never looked back as they scored runs in all five innings they would play. They scored two in the first, four in the second, two more in the third and fifth, while in the fourth they scored once.
Kern Valley hitting: Baker, 3 (2B); Hayes, 2 (2-2B); Acosta, 2; Mila Morgan, 1 (3B); Martinez, 1; Hartman, 1; Kassy Opferman, 1.
RBIs: Martinez, 2; Hayes, 2; Acosta, 1; Hartman, 1; Morgan, 1.
KV pitching: Hayes, (W), 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K.
In game one of the tournament, Kern Valley faced off with Kennedy (Delano).
The Lady Broncs scored early and often to claim the 16-5 win.
Kern Valley hitting: Hartman, 2 (3B, 2B); Acosta, 2 (2-2B); Opferman, 2 (2B); Baker, 1 (2B); Hannah Ocampo, 1; Krista Witten, 1; Meyers, 1; Morgan, 1.
RBIs: Hartman, 6; Baker, 2; Ocampo, 1; Witten, 1; Meyers, 1.
KV pitching: Sierra Klase, 2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; Hayes, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K.
The following day Kern Valley took on West High of Bakersfield.
It was all Lady Broncs as the offense plated 17 runs, while the pitching of Hayes left the Lady Vikings with zero runs.
Kern Valley hitting: Acosta, 3 (HR); Hayes, 3; Meyers, 2; Ocampo, 2; Hartman, 2; Martinez, 1; Bailey Hurst, 1; Opferman, 1; Baker 1.
RBIs: Hayes, 3; Acosta, 2; Martinez, 1; Meyers, 1; Hurst, 1; Opferman, 1; Baker, 1.
Lady Broncs pitching: Hayes, 5, IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K.
In their third game, the Lady Broncs played the host school in Wasco. They would have to come from behind to earn a tie as the Lady Tigers were ahead 6-3 after four innings. Kern Valley scored one in the fourth and two in the fifth to make the game a tie.
Kern Valley hitting: Hayes, 2; Hartman, 2; Hurst, 1 (2B); Martinez, 1; Morgan 1.
RBIs: Martinez, 3; Hayes, 1; Morgan, 1.
The two wins and the tie put the Lady Broncs in the championship game against Frontier.
The Lady Titans would explode for 19 runs and claim the tournament 19-2.
Kern Valley scored all of its runs in the third inning after trailing 6-0.
The Lady Titans got one back in the bottom of the third inning to make the score 7-2. The Frontier squad added three runs in the fourth inning and erupted for nine runs in the sixth inning to make it a rout.
Note: No individual hitting or pitching stats were made available for this game.
After Kern Valley takes a break, they will resume HDL action with another key game against Rosamond on April 23.
The Lady Roadrunners also sit at 7-2 in league, two games out of the lead.
A victory in that one would give the Lady Broncs at least a share of the league title with a chance to win it outright on April 26 against the Cal City Lady Ravens.