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Hornets sweep Vaqueros, 5-3 and 4-2

Sloane Greeley hit SBCC's first homer of the year -- a two-run shot in the 7th inning of the opener. She's batting .438 in her last nine games and has hit safely in 10 of the last 11. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Sloane Greeley hit SBCC's first homer of the year -- a two-run shot in the 7th inning of the opener. She's batting .438 in her last nine games and has hit safely in 10 of the last 11. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Fullerton grabbed the lead in both games on Saturday and weathered seventh-inning rallies to sweep SBCC, 5-3 and 4-2, in a softball doubleheader at Pershing Park.

The Hornets, ranked No. 10 in Southern Cal, won their 10th in a row and improved to 23-15. The Vaqueros, who played five games in six days this week, fell to 15-18.

Six of Fullerton's nine runs were unearned, thanks to seven Vaquero errors. Santa Barbara racked up 19 hits on the day but only scored five runs due to 20 runners left on base.

The Hornets led 5-0 after a two-run fifth inning in the opener and 4-1 in the fifth inning of the second game when Eryka Springer reached on an error and pinch-runner Desiree Guzman scored on an RBI single by Nia Rodman.

Chloe Wells delivered an RBI single for SBCC's first run in the sixth inning. Emily Bland walked with two outs in the seventh against reliever Shelby Boehmer and Sloane Greeley drilled a two-run homer to left-center to cut the deficit to 5-3.

"It was pretty exciting to get our first homer of the year," said Greeley, a sophomore left fielder from New York, N.Y. "I went up there with confidence and I was feeling the pitcher out and it just happened. It was exciting to see the ball go over the fence and jog around the bases and everyone was waiting at home. That was a good feeling."

Left-hander Natasha Trujillo pitched the first four innings (no runs on three hits) of the first game for Fullerton and re-entered to get the last out in the seventh. She got Brandi Almaraz on a comebacker to the mound. Trujillo (18-11) got both wins, giving up one unearned run on 12 hits in 9.1 innings.

The Vaqueros collected 13 hits in the second game and left 13 on base.

"We did a good job of hitting and we got runners on, we just need to do a better job of finishing it," said coach Justine Bosio. "Fullerton is a great team and they're well-coached. Our girls did a good job of competing with them and kept themselves in both games."

Wells and Janet Salas both went 2-3 in the opener. Calista Wendell pitched a complete game and gave up five runs on nine hits but only one run was earned.

Madison Foster was 3-4 in the second game and Almaraz, Salas and Kayla Sanchez were all 2-4. Foster had a run-scoring single in the second inning and made stellar plays at second base on back-to-back opportunities in the fourth inning. She made a diving stop to her right and threw out a runner from her knees, then sprinted into foul territory to catch a pop-up.

With two outs in the seventh in Game 2, pinch-hitter Kaelyn Whitten singled up the middle and Wells pinch-ran for her. Isabella Gregson delivered another single up the middle, scoring Wells and making it 4-2. Sanchez reached on an infield hit before Boehmer struck out Bland to cap the sweep.

"We definitely like to rally with two outs in the seventh, that seems to be our thing," said Bosio, with a laugh. "We hit our first home run, which was great. Sloane's been hitting the ball really hard.

"Calista pitched really well in the first game. Her pitch count was low, so we decided to start her in the second game. I didn't want her to throw too many pitches, so once she hit the 150 mark, we put Isabella in (in the fifth)."

The Vaqueros, who've already clinched fourth in the WSC North, will host Ventura in their last game of the year. It will be "Sophomore Day" for four Vaqueros on Tuesday with the first pitch at 2:30 p.m.