A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

SRJC softball sweeps doubleheader vs Yuba College, wins game two in walk-off fashion

Yna Bollock
Adriana Novak joins in on the celebration at home plate following a two-run homer at Santa Rosa’s Marv Mayes Field Feb. 13, 2024.

Santa Rosa Junior College Softball keeps on rolling in the preseason, as they picked up a mercy rule win and a walk-off win vs. Yuba College Tuesday at Marv Mayes Field.

Jordan Baughn was the starting pitcher for the Bear Cubs in game one. She came into Tuesday’s game having thrown six shutout innings last Friday.

Baughn got into a bit of trouble in the top of the first. Yuba took a 1-0 lead when Jerzie Brown tripled, then scored on a double steal.

The Bear Cubs answered and then some when Gabriela Schenone and Hailey Martin each hit two-run singles to give Santa Rosa the 4-1 lead going into the second.

Baughn worked a quick top of the second. The Bear Cubs added another run when Olivia Gabriel doubled, stole third and scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-1. 

Hailey Martin sends the ball flying for a single at the bottom of the first against Yuba College at Santa Rosa’s Marv Mayes Field Feb. 13, 2024. (Yna Bollock)

Yuba trimmed the lead when Faith Epperson tripled and scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-2. Baughn got out of the top of the third with no further damage.

Yuba pitcher Samantha Flores pitched a clean bottom of the third. Baughn and Flores then matched each other with shutdown fourth and fifth innings.

Baughn allowed some traffic on the bases in the top of the sixth but got through it with another scoreless inning. 

The Bear Cubs re-opened the floodgates in the bottom of the sixth when three singles led to a bases-clearing three-run double from Hailey Wyatt.

The next batter, Adriana Novak launched a two-run homer to left-center that bounced off the top of the wall and went over. 

“I had two strikes so I was just going [for] a hard-hit ball,” Novak said. “It’s pretty awesome. I’m really excited, and I’ve been working really hard.”

Novak’s home run increased the lead to 10-2, triggering the mercy rule and ending the game. 

In game two, Jessica Hernandez took the ball for the Bear Cubs. She got into some trouble early on after she walked the lead-off batter, who stole second, stole third and then scored when the throw to third got away.

Center fielder Olivia Gabriel made a diving catch to swing momentum back toward the Bear Cubs. Hernandez worked out of the inning with no further damage. 

After a quiet bottom of the first and top of the second, the Bear Cubs’ offense roared back when third baseman Gabriela Schenone scored on a sacrifice fly, tying the game 1-1.

Yuba wasted no time responding, getting a run back with a hit-by-pitch and three straight singles in the top of the third. 

The Bear Cubs were then set down in order in the bottom of the third, with Yuba leading 2-1.

Hailey Martin took over for Hernandez in the top of the fourth. The Yuba offense took no time to adjust, putting up another run to make it 3-1.

With the Bear Cubs trailing and the bats quiet, Hailey Wyatt brought the offense back to life by launching a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth.

This homer was Wyatt’s second of the season after she homered in the previous doubleheader. She spoke about what it means to come through for her team in those moments.

“[It’s] one of the best feelings because I know I’m doing what I can to produce for my team,” Wyatt said. “It’s not about me, it’s about the other 15 girls that I play with.”

Following the home run the Bear Cubs continued to produce, putting up two more on a double by Esperanza Marquez and an error on a ground ball hit by Nataya Brown.

Martin did her part in holding the 4-3 lead, shutting down Yuba in the top of the fifth.

The Bear Cubs’ first two hitters went down to start the bottom of the fifth before getting right back to business, putting up two on an RBI single from Schenone to make it 6-3.

Yuba continued the back-and-forth slugfest, putting up three on a triple and four singles to tie the game once again at 6-6.

Pitcher Jessica Hernandez starts Game 2 off for the Bear Cubs at Santa Rosa’s Marv Mayes Field Feb. 13, 2024. (Yna Bollock)

Not to be outdone, the Bear Cubs put up another three of their own on two walks, an RBI single from Wyatt and a two-run triple from Adriana Novak to make it 9-6.

Martin looked to shut the door in the top of the seventh, getting an easy ground ball for the first out. A hit batter and a double play made things interesting, but Martin got another ground ball for the second out, though the runner did score to make it 9-7.

Yuba stayed alive getting a two-out double to make it 9-8. With a runner on second, Martin got another ground ball. 

Shortstop Mallory O’Keefe made the throw to Schenone at third who appeared to tag the runner. The umpire called the runner safe, and the Bear Cubs crowd erupted in outrage.

Following the controversial call, the next batter drove the ball into the left-center field gap for an RBI double to tie the game at 9-9.

Martin froze the next hitter to bring this turbulent game into the bottom of the seventh.

After two strikeouts and two walks, Olivia Gabriel stepped up with runners on first and second and two outs.

The catcher attempted a back-pick and caught the runner on first, Kali Garcia in a rundown. As the infielders attempted to tag out Garcia, the other runner, Nataya Brown, managed to advance from second all the way around to score the winning run.

“I knew if I got on that I would be the winning run, so I’m just planning on doing a job,” Brown said. “Once [Garcia] got in a pickle, I had to jump on that opportunity.”

Head coach Madison Green added her thoughts on the final play.

“That was pretty exciting,” said Green. “We tell our girls ‘You’re not only running for yourself, you’re running for the woman in front of you and the woman behind you,’ so that’s exactly what [Garcia] was doing there.”

The other Bear Cubs mobbed Garcia and Brown following the walk-off win, giving the Bear Cubs their fourth win in a row. This win is the Bear Cubs’ fourth straight game scoring eight runs or more.

“I’m starting to expect it now,” said Green. “They’ve been putting a lot of work in before practice, after practice and on their own. It’s really showing.”

The Bear Cubs will look to continue their winning streak in next Tuesday’s doubleheader at noon against Mendocino College.


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About the Contributors
Oliver Kindt
Oliver Kindt, Reporter
Oliver Kindt (he/him) is a journalism major in his second semester at SRJC and first at The Oak Leaf. He is an aspiring sports writer who will be covering primarily baseball and softball this spring.
Yna Bollock
Yna Bollock, Reporter
Yna Bollock is in her first semester with the Oak Leaf. She has been working on prerequisites for the last two semesters and is elated to begin major specific requirements for the journalism program, specifically photojournalism. Prior to pursuing a photojournalism degree, she graduated from SRJC’s culinary program in 2013. In 2020, following a layoff from the hospitality industry, Yna graduated from the CNA program in June in an effort to stay gainfully employed throughout the pandemic. Now in 2024, she is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s of arts in photojournalism.

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