The Saddleback softball team won a double-header on Monday with back-to-back wins against Golden West College at the Saddleback Softball Diamond. The Gauchos outscored the Rustlers 26-11 in picking up their first Orange Empire Conference wins.
Saddleback and Golden West were starting to think that Mother Nature didn't want them to play. The games played on Monday were supposed to be played on February 13, February 21 and March 5, but due to rain and wet field conditions all three dates were postponed, leaving the teams with a double-header to start the month of April. The Gauchos got the last laugh on April Fools' Day, winning both games 11-6 and 15-5.
Saddleback fell behind in the opening game 3-2 heading into the bottom of the third inning when they made the Golden West lead disappear for good. The Gauchos had six hits in the inning and a pair of stolen bases while taking a 7-3 lead. With one out in the inning and Vanessa Alvarran standing on second base, Saddleback erupted with consecutive hits from Dani De la Fuente, McKenna Walton, Jillian Gellatly and Paige Welk. Later in the inning Shay Savoie drove in the final run of the inning with a double to right-center field.
Golden West closed the gap to 7-5 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning when Saddleback shut the door on the comeback. The Gauchos struck for another four runs, taking advantage of a Rustler error and some wildness on the mound in putting the game out of reach. The final blow was a double to left-center field from Naomi Varela to give Saddleback an 11-5 lead.
Game two was far less dramatic as Saddleback took an early lead and never allowed the Rustlers in the game. The Gauchos scores six runs in the opening inning and led 13-4 after three innings in putting the contest out of reach. Saddleback had a season-high 15 hits in the game as Naomi Varela, Dani De la Fuente and Kacie Tatman all had three hits apiece. The Gauchos also took advantage of six Golden West errors as the game ended by way of the 8-run rule after the fifth inning.
Varela finished the day 5-for-7 with two walks while scoring four times in the two wins. De la Fuente was 5-for-8 with five runs-scored.
Saddleback is now 6-16 overall and 2-11 in Orange Empire Conference play following the wins. The Gauchos will play again on Wednesday when they host Riverside City College (18-11, 6-7) on the Saddleback Softball Diamond. Game time with the Tigers is scheduled for 3:00 PM.