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Lady Knights Are One Win Away

In another exciting game, the Shasta College Lady Knights Softball team won 4-3 to advance to the championship game of the Super Regional Playoff that is being hosted by Shasta College.

Taylor Gerhardt came up clutch again at the plate going 3-3 with 2 RBIs, but most especially on defense. With a catch worthy of an ESPN “Web Gem,” Gerhardt robbed what would have been a two-run homer hit by Sierra College’s Sarah Rasmussen, which would have given the Wolverines a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning.

“I didn’t really know where the fence was, I just knew I wanted to catch it. I was just like, ‘I gotta get the ball.’ I hit the fence, but I didn’t even care.” said Gerhardt after the game.

Kayla Spini also pitched a gem, going the complete game and striking out four batters with her nasty off-speed changeup, and had plenty of help from the defense.

“I turned around and I knew it was a homerun, but I can tell you that [Gerhardt] saved my butt.” said Spini after the game, “I know if I don’t have my off-speed then I know I’m done.”

The first two innings went quick, then Dominique Foster came up with a big defensive play at second base, diving to stop Jenna Thorne’s ground ball an then flipping the ball from her knees to Noelle Blake for the third out of the third inning.

Sierra College went on top in the fourth inning after a fielding error by shortstop Nikki Foster allowed a run to score. After a walk, Alexis Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to put the Wolverines up 2-0.

The Lady Knights did not wait until the final frame to make up a two-run deficit, instead coming out swinging out hard in the bottom of the fourth. Racie Carrel reached on an error before Noelle Blake ripped a first-pitch RBI triple down the right-field line. Ally Wimer then doubled to left-center to tie the game at 2-2. Next it was Taylor Gerhardt to add to the excitement when she hit an RBI grounder just past the second base for a 3-2 lead after four innings.

“I think yesterday was definitely a confidence booster and that helped a lot. I’ll just see what I see and if it’s close I’m gonna swing” said Gerhardt.

Spini was helped a lot in shutting down the fifth inning as Taylor Rae made a diving catch in center field and Taylor Gerhardt robbed the homerun which would have gave Sierra the lead. Rasmussen lifted a deep fly ball to left field to which Gerhardt sprinted to and leaped against the fence to snag it from going over to preserve the lead.

Spini helped herself out with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-2, hitting a single to score Megan McColpin and Racie Carrel, but Carrel was thrown out at home to end the inning.

Things got nervy in the final inning as Tayanna Mata hit an RBI double to close the gap to 4-3 with two outs in the inning. Rasmussen then hit a ground ball to end the game, and bring Shasta College one win away from a berth in next weekend’s Softball State Championships.

“They know what’s at stake. If we get that done, we get to go to Bakersfield.” said Coach Sonny Stupek after the game.

With a streak going like this, is there superstition involved?

“Yeah, our shortstop won’t where eye black, I don’t wash my socks.” said Gerhardt.

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