Comets suffer first loss at Santa Ana

Shea Lane had a tie-breaking single against the Santa Ana Dons.
Shea Lane had a tie-breaking single against the Santa Ana Dons.

SANTA ANA, CA (2/4/2020) – The Palomar College softball team went down to defeat for the first time this season when Santa Ana scored in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 6-5 nonconference victory at Santa Ana College.

The two teams traded rallies until the Dons prevailed with one out in the seventh when designated player Madelyn Holzberg singled home Natalie Crawford with the winning run to hand the Comets their first loss after starting the season with three wins. It was Holzberg's fourth hit of the game.

Palomar took an early 3-0 lead with three first-inning runs on the strength of a solo home run to left field by sophomore catcher Kendall Kates and a two-run single by freshman shortstop Samarah Martinez. Santa Ana (3-1) responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first inning off Palomar starting pitcher Cat Aguilar.

Run-scoring singles by Martinez and sophomore third baseman Shea Lane in the top of the third inning broke the tie and put Palomar back in front, 5-3, but the Dons answered again with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to knot the score again at 5-5.

The Comets threatened in the top of the fifth when they placed runners at the corners with one out following a walk to freshman Kendall Rosas and a pinch-hit single by freshman Jenna Gonzales, but a pop-up double play ended the inning. An error allowed leadoff batter sophomore Rylee Penrod to reach base in the sixth, but she advanced no farther than second base, and the Comets were retired in order in the seventh by winning pitcher Emily Rosas.

The Comets had 11 hits but also committed a season-high four errors. Kates was 3-for-4 at the plate, and Martinez and Penrod each had two hits.

Aguilar, a sophomore, pitched four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Freshman Alyssa Domingo took over in the pitcher's circle in the fifth inning and took the loss to even her record at 1-1. She gave up one run on six hits with three walks and one strikeout.

Palomar will be home for another nonconference game against Citrus on Wednesday, Feb. 5, before returning to the road on Saturday, Feb. 8, for a doubleheader at Antelope Valley.