Once the game did get started Monday, the Hancock softball team quickly set about scoring runs in bunches.
After a start delay of 30 minutes because of the late-arriving umpire crew, Hancock scored seven runs in the first inning, nine in the second and four in the third in a 20-1 rout of Moorpark in a Western State Conference North Division game at Hancock. The game was called after the top of the fifth inning because of the eight-run rule.
The Bulldogs won their third straight. The Raiders are 1-14, 0-4. As the score quickly mounted, Hancock coach Scia Maumausolo, who coached third base, had her team play station-to-station softball, with runners advancing only one base regardless of where a base hit ended up and not sending a runner home on a fly ball to the outfield with less than two outs.
Hancock then lost to Ventura 7-2 on Tuesday. The Pirates out-hit the Bulldogs 8-3. Hancock committed two errors and Ventura didn't commit any. Ventura was up 4-0 after scoring four times in the second before Hancock cut the lead to 4-2 in the third. Ventura then pulled away with a three-spot in the fourth.
The momentum carried from Monday's game to Tuesday's didn't equate to a win, but the Bulldogs will have a chance to bounce back against Santa Barbara on Thursday. The Bulldogs are on the road for that one, with first pitch scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
"Winning by 19, we have momentum going into this one," said Hancock left fielder Alexia Juarez-White after Monday's win.
Juarez-White reached base in all four of her plate appearances Monday, twice via hit and twice via walk. She had three RBIs on the day, drawing a bases-loaded walk for an RBI in the first inning, singling home a run in the second and doubling home a run in the third.
Freshman Moorpark pitcher Jordyn Reid struggled from the outset to throw strikes, and walked 13.
"It was hard to be patient," with so many pitches landing out of the strike zone, said Juarez-White.
After she walked in the first, "The home plate umpire opened up the strike zone, he started calling high strikes on me and I made the adjustment," said the Hancock left fielder.
Just two of the seven Hancock runs in the first inning came via a hit, Danica Black's two-run double. Madison Gamble drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly that Moorpark left fielder Danielle Heidmann caught about a foot in front of the fence, two more came on bases-loaded walks to Xchelle Glidewell and Juarez-White, and two scored when Moorpark second baseman Grace Heidmann dropped a two-out Abigail Salazar fly ball.
Glidewell wound up with three hits and four RBIs. Hancock starting pitcher Briana Munoz helped herself by driving in two runs.
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Madeleine Mekari doubled in Camila Dalmau with the Moorpark run in the third.
Nine Bulldogs reached base via hit, walk or both Monday. Munoz and reliever Delayna Quezada combined on a four-hitter. Munoz gave up three hits in her three innings of work. Moorpark Lisa Motz singled in the fifth for the lone hit off Quezada.
Mekari and Motz, with two hits each, had all four Moorpark hits.
Hancock third baseman Mya Mendoza had a hit and an RBI. Mendoza, a sophomore, joined the softball team recently after playing for the Hancock women's basketball team which went 21-9 on the 2022-23 season.
First-year Hancock coach Andre Scott's squad became the first in program history to win at least 20 games. The Bulldogs won in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional before going out in the second round.
"I feel like I'm in good shape," said Mendoza. "I'm a little rusty hitting and in the field, but that will get there in time."
Mendoza played softball for Hancock last year. She did not play basketball.
"I played basketball, softball and volleyball at Lompoc High School, and I decided to give basketball a try," during her sophomore year at Hancock, Mendoza said.
"I'm glad I played. It was good to be part of the season we had, especially since we did (a good part of that) with seven players."
Hancock's women's basketball team was frequently short-handed because of injury troubles.
Salazar drove in a run for Hancock on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run. Munoz also had an RBI. Black had Hancock's only other hit. She also scored a run.
Black started and went two innings in the circle against Ventura, allowing four earned runs on two hits with three walks. Munoz threw the final five innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs while striking out five and walking none.
Kenny Cress is a sports reporter for the Santa Maria Times, covering local sports in northern Santa Barbara County. You can send information or story ideas to him by emailing it to KCress@SantaMariaTimes.com.