When April 13th falls on a Friday, many folks see it as potentially bad day. Two members of the CBC Softball team have always considered it a pretty good day; as April the 13th is the birthday of Cougar softball, twins Ashley and Kirstie Soto. Both Soto's celebrated their day of birth in grand style with offensive and defensive prowess that helped CBC in a come-from-way-behind split with Alvin Community College.
The Dolphins came to town looking to avenge a sweep by the Cougars back on March 16th. Sitting in fifth slot in Region XIV South – one step behind the Cougars, this series was critical for either team's hopes of advancing to post season play.
Coastal Bend would send ace, Lydia Clarke to the rubber looking for her to continue her strong pitching this season. It would be an up and down day for Clarke, who didn't pitch poorly but found herself in trouble in several innings.
The Cougar offense would put runners in scoring position in the first two innings and then load them in the bottom of the 3rd but were unable to score. The Dolphins strung together three well hit line drives in the top of the 3rd to take a 1-0 lead. Nanushka Kellogg was stellar for Alvin, She and Lydia Clarke created a fast moving game. Clarke recorded two three pitch innings that resulted in three consecutive outs in the fourth and sixth innings.
The Cougars would enter the bottom of the seventh staring at 1-0 deficit. Emily Michki changed that with one swing. Michki took Kellogg's second pitch and launched high and deep over the left center field wall to tie the score at 1-1 and force extra innings.
Alvin would waste no time in extra stanza loading the bases with a base hit and two sacrifice bunts that were so good, they ended up as infield singles. The Dolphins would push two runs across before CBC could end the inning, putting ACC back in front 3-1.
Haley Sanchez would lead-off the bottom of the eight with a single to the hole at short. The throw to first would end up in the visiting dugout, and put Sanchez in scoring position. The Dolphins would then retire the next three Cougar batters in order and preserve the 3-1 win.
With the first game loss, the pressure on the Cougars increased exponentially and it showed early. Clarke returned to the pitcher's circle, giving up three consecutive singles to load the bases. A walk and another single later – CBC was again behind on the scoreboard. 2-0.
Things went from bad to worse for the Cougars in the second inning when the Dolphins would plate five runs, as Clarke gave way to Alexis Valdez. Valdez was able to retire the side, but there was much damage to be overcome as ACC led 7-0.
CBC Head Coach, Stephen Machorro found a way to make the Cougars believe that anything was possible and they came out and scored six runs of their own in the bottom of the 3rd inning to cut the lead to 7-6.
That was the score when #7 and birthday girl Kirstie Soto strolled to the plate in the bottom of the 4th. She then proceeded to take an 0-2 pitch and bomb it over the left center field fence that created an eruption on the CBC bench and stands, while evening the score at 7-7 to create a brand new game.
Fellow birthday girl Ashley Soto started off the bottom of the 5th inning being hit by a pitch. She moved to second on a fielder's choice. The ACC shortstop stopped play to argue the call forgetting that Soto was a live base runner who kept going and ended up on third. Valdez, who was safe at first during the fielder's choice that advanced Soto, promptly stole second. Both runners would come home on Mirella Guevara's single.
Katrina Rangel reached first in the bottom of the 6th. Aileen Rodriguez would enter the game as a pinch runner, promptly steal second, and move to third on a Sanchez single. She would score as Valdez would drive a ball right center. Giving the Cougars a 10-7 lead. Valdez would retire the Dolphins in the top of the 7th securing the split and a season series win over Alvin.