Don’t let anyone tell you different, but hard work and fundamentals pay off. Just ask the Galveston College Whitecaps softball team after earning the No. 18 rank in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I softball rankings.
“It was nice to find out about the ranking, but I’m not surprised because this team has played hard and does not let up when it faces adversity on the field,” said Galveston College Athletic Director and Head Softball Coach, Kelly Raines. “It’s truly an accomplishment to be ranked in the NJCAA DI top 20 and a testament to the team’s hard work. We still have a long way to go this season, but we continue to improve and the ranking is a reflection on that improvement.”
The No. 18-ranked Whitecaps, who compete in Region 14 of the 147-team NJCAA DI, didn’t let up on Wednesday as righthander Gabby Guzman threw five innings of one-hit softball and leadoff hitter Karlie Barba hit three doubles to lead GC to an 8-0 victory over Kilgore College in the first game of a doubleheader at the Lassie League Complex.
The Whitecaps also came back from three one-run deficits in the second game to defeat the Rangers 6-3 and sweep the twin bill. With the pair of victories, GC improved to 17-3 overall.
“We had some good pitching and our bats responded to support our pitchers,” said Raines. “We were able to control the first game and we found a way to come back a few times in the second game with some clutch hitting and a key four-run inning in the sixth to help our pitchers secure the win.”
In the opening game, Guzman (8-1) earned her eighth win of the season while striking out three batters in five innings of work, while designated player Barba went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Guzman helped herself out by going 2-for-3 and scored a run. Shortstop Emily Parks also contributed to the Whitecaps first-game victory by going 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.
The second game was a little more complicated. Kilgore took one-run leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the first, third and sixth innings. GC battled back each time, tying the score and eventually breaking the contest open in the sixth with a four-run spurt that gave the Whitecaps a 6-3 lead, which they didn’t relinquish.
GC righthander Abigayle Woodson (6-2) was credited with the victory after allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings, while striking out five Rangers. Barba came on in relief and struck out one batter in the final inning to record her first save of the season. She also went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Whitecaps left fielder Jessica Munro went 1-for-3 with a hit and a walk, an RBI and scored twice, while first baseman Tallulah Civoniceva went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
After a doubleheader against Louisiana State University Eunice over the weekend, GC will return for a twin bill on March 8 against the same LSU Eunice squad at 3 and 5 p.m. at the Lassie League Complex.
For more information about the Galveston College Whitecaps softball program, rosters and season schedule, visit https://www.gcwhitecaps.com/landing/index.