Lady Broncs advance to semifinals

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer – Sadi Hartman, No. 11 of the varsity Lady Broncs softball team, connects with a pitch in the recent home CIF Division 5 playoff game.

By Ray Conner
Sports Editor

Kern Valley’s varsity softball team is marching into the semifinals for the second straight year.

The Lady Broncs took care of a pair of opponents in advancing to the semifinals of the CIF Central Section Division 5 playoffs.

Kern Valley dispatched Immanuel easily 10-0, and slipped past Rosamond 7-4.

The Lady Broncs are the defending CIF champions of Division 5 and will have to go through Shafter again this season if they want to move on to the finals. Kern Valley played against Shafter on Tuesday.

Kern Valley as the No. 3 seed took on Immanuel to open the CIF playoffs.

Playing on their home field, the Lady Broncs stayed true to form.

Stellar pitching, good defense and team hitting has been the winning formula for the season.

The Lady Broncs took the early lead in their half of the first inning. They pushed one run home and added another run in the third to make it 2-0. Kern Valley took the commanding lead with four runs in the fourth. They would add one more in the fifth and close it out with three in the sixth to collect the victory.

As a team the Lady Broncs banged out 10 hits, including one that left the yard. Sadi Hartman connected on the pitch to drive it over the fence.

Brenna Acosta led the way as she had three hits. Helen Hayes helped her own cause as she had a pair of hits, while Haily Martinez, Krista Witten, Aryan Meyers and Lexi Baker each had one hit.

Martinez drove in a pair of runs, while Hartman’s round-tripper produced an RBI. Hannah Ocampo, Acosta, Hayes and Witten each were credited with one RBI in the game.

In the circle, Hayes tossed all six innings of no-hit ball. She walked two batter and struck out 13.

With the win, the Lady Broncs would then face off with a familiar High Desert League foe in Rosamond.

Kern Valley grabbed the quick lead as they scored three in the first inning.

The Lady Roadrunners got one run back to cut into the lead. They would get closer as they added another run in the top of the fourth to make it a one-run ballgame.

The Lady Broncs responded in their half of the fourth inning as they rallied for four runs to push the score to 7-2.

Rosamond got two runs in the sixth, but no closer as the Lady Broncs claimed the playoff victory to move on to the semifinals versus the Shafter Lady Generals.

The defense for the Lady Broncs slipped a little as they recorded three miscues in the game. That would lead to three unearned runs.

As a team, Kern Valley collected eight hits in the contest, including one that went for extra bases.

Hartman led the way as she delivered two hits. Kassy Opferman had the extra base hit as she recorded a triple. Martinez, Ocampo, Acosta, Witten and Baker had one hit apiece for the Lady Broncs.

Hartman knocked in three runs to lead the team. Martinez, Witten and Meyers each had one RBI.

Hayes earned the win as she went all seven innings allowing six hits. She gave up the four runs, only one earned with three walks and a hit batter. She would set down 10 Lady Roadrunners on strikes.

If the Lady Broncs win on Tuesday they will make a trip to Fresno College on Friday for the CIF Championship contest.

They would take on the winner of the No. 8 seeded Orange Cove team and the unseeded Caruthers squad.

The Lady Broncs for the year are currently 18-6-2.

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer – Hannah Ocampo, No. 5 of Kern Valley’s varsity softball team, attempts a bunt in the recent CIF playoff game.