COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Odessa College opens WJCAC with a ‘bang,’ blasts Frank Phillips College

It’s one thing for a team to start its conference season out on decent footing, or to open league play with a solid showing.

It’s another to enter with a ‘bang.’

That’s just what the Odessa College softball team did Friday, as Lady Wranglers’ sophomore Vanessa Muro put it, dropping Frank Phillips College 16-0 and 15-0 in a pair of victories in a doubleheader at the OC Softball Complex.

Odessa College piled on runs in both games and ended both by run rule to start 2-0 in WJCAC play.

“Big scoring number — twice,” said Muro, a sophomore glad to see her last WJCAC run at OC start strong. “It was good.

“I feel like that’s a great win for us as sophomores, to come out with a bang like that.”

Odessa College rolled up 19 hits in each victory, while winning pitchers Winter Ridgeway and Brittany Kennett held Frank Phillips College scoreless in the circle.

Lady Wranglers freshman Mikayla Krause batted for a cycle in reverse order in the day’s opener. Her home run in the top of the first helped Odessa College establish a 5-0 lead early and take charge of the day’s action.

Krause finished 4-for-4 in that one with four runs scored and two RBIs. Bella Garcia was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Taylor Fogle went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored.

In the day’s finale, Odessa College (16-9 overall, 2-0 WJCAC) batted around the lineup in a 12-run bottom of the second en route to the sweep over struggling Frank Phillips College (3-25, 0-2).

Friday’s wins came as part of a bounce-back effort for Odessa College. The last time the Lady Wranglers were on the diamond, they wrapped up nonconference play on a sour note, losing a pair of games in a doubleheader with Tyler Junior College back on March 3.

Those losses sat with the Lady Wranglers throughout two weeks away from game action.

“I’m pretty sure everybody thought about that game all spring break,” Krause said of that meeting with Tyler Junior College. “It never really left our heads.

“We didn’t want our coaches to think that we could just give up like that. We wanted to show them that we could still fight and win and be better.”

Friday, Odessa College seemed to do just that.

“We didn’t like ending like that,” Krause added. “It really hurt all of us to lose like that, and it hurt the coaches more. We didn’t want to start out like that for conference this year. We wanted to be better.”

Lady Wranglers head coach Karina Cannon said she liked her team’s effort to bounce back and get back on the winning side Friday.

“I feel that we did a good job of coming out and executing what we needed to do today,” she said.

Garcia’s two-RBI triple and Crystal Carrillo’s two-run homer were parts of that 12-run rally in the second inning of the day’s nightcap.

Freshman pitcher Brittany Kennett held Frank Phillips College scoreless with just one run in that one. Sophomore Winter Ridgeway allowed just four hits in a shutout from the circle in the opener.

Those pitchers were especially excited to see their teammates piling up hits from the plate Friday and pushing across runs in bunches on the offensive side.

“It’s so much easier pitching when you have runs behind you, especially when you know you’re team is good enough to hit that amount of runs in,” Kennedy said. “It just makes it so much easier to pitch.”

Odessa College is set to continue WJCAC play today with a doubleheader against Clarendon College (19-12, 0-2) at home at the OC Softball Complex.

Clarendon College was swept by Midland College on Friday.

First pitch for today’s opener is set for 1 p.m., while the second game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

“It’s huge being 2-0 right now,” Ridgeway said. “It’s awesome, but we have to keep going out every day and just take it day by day.”