PHOENIX — The NJCAA Division I No. 19-ranked Yavapai College softball team swept Gateway Community College, 12-3 in six innings and 4-2, to remain one game behind ACCAC D-I frontrunner and No. 12-ranked Eastern Arizona College Saturday afternoon.
The Roughriders improved to 41-10 overall and 33-7 in conference, while Eastern Arizona upped its record to 43-8 and 34-6 after sweeping Glendale CC, 9-0 and 10-2. Eastern Arizona has run its winning streak to eight with eight games left in the 2018 regular season.
In Saturday’s opener, the Roughriders trailed 3-2 at the end of the second inning before scoring four runs in the third, four in the fifth and two in the sixth en route to the rout. Yavapai compiled 13 hits, seven of which went for extra bases.
Shelby Hotchkiss was 2 for 4 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and four runs scored to pace the Roughriders at the dish. Brianna Griffiths (3 for 4, two doubles, two RBIs), Neenah Pangilinan (3 for 4, triple, two runs scored), Kylie Brown (2 for 4, RBI, run scored), Haley Parson (triple, two RBIs, two runs scored) and Jaydee Boursaw (double) stood out as well.
On the pitcher’s slab, Yavapai starter Kiana Spencer garnered the complete-game win, allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
In the second game, Yavapai and Gateway were tied at 1-1 through three. But the Roughriders plated a run apiece in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to grab a 4-1 lead. Ahead 4-2 in the seventh, Yavapai pitcher Jaya Allen threw a scoreless frame to preserve the victory for starter Santana Parra. Parra allowed one run on three hits and struck out two in five frames. Allen gave up one run on two hits, striking out four and walking one, in two innings.
At the plate, the Roughriders scored their four runs on seven hits. Boursaw went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Mariah Kalamaras (1 for 2, two RBIs), Makayla Guerra (2 for 4) and Shelby Hotchkiss (triple) aided in the effort.
Yavapai plays host to Chandler-Gilbert CC (15-23 overall and ACCAC) for another ACCAC doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at Bill Vallely Field in Prescott.
Gateway (7-33) welcomes Central Arizona College (28-21 overall, 20-18 ACCAC going into Saturday) to Phoenix at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 17.
Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.