Coach Greg Venger tossed in a blowout loss to Bakersfield College

The Monarchs were hoping to pick up a win in the last home game of the season, but chaos ensued when the Renegades jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, leaving the Monarchs in the dust.

By Edward Segal, Valley Life Editor

Valley head coach Greg Venger is visibly upset with the umpire, who allowed a pitch to come in after shortstop Téa Carbajal called time at the plate. Venger was later tossed from the game when he protested a foul ball during the at-bat of left fielder Caitlyn Pineda, claiming the change of direction could have been off the glove. (Jose Callejas / The Valley Star)

Another game quickly turned south for the Monarchs as almost everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong in Valley’s final home game of the season, but spirits were kept high after the loss as the sophomore players took photos to commemorate their final appearance at Monarch field.

“The struggles, going from a high to a low to a high to a low, built a lot of character and I’m going to take it into my next chapter in life, and that’s my career,” said sophomore center fielder Elizabeth Flores. “I’m really excited that [Valley] helped me build who I am. Without softball, I wouldn’t be who I am.”

Valley College softball (6-21, 0-9 WSC East) hoped to make a statement as they entered their last home game, but Bakersfield College (28-6, 10-0 WSC East) came out swinging for the fences. A slow start by freshman pitcher Jessica Lopez on the mound allowed two walks and two deep hits into right center to give the Renegades a 3-0 lead. Only connecting for two hits the entire game, Valley’s offense had no response for Bakersfield’s heavy hitting as they lost 12-0 — getting shut out for the fifth time in 2022.

“It’s very frustrating because we hit a lot, the girls hit on their own a lot,” said Valley coach Greg Venger. “That part was definitely frustrating to give up three runs in the first, two of them off walks. So when you set the tone that you’re down 3-0 in the first inning, that’s tough.”

After Bakersfield’s hot start in the first inning, freshman shortstop Téa Carbajal, who returned after missing the last two games with a non-softball-related injury, gave the Monarchs life when she doubled into the left field corner, but subsequent pop outs stranded her on second base.

Two more Renegades reached in the second, taking the corner bases. The runner on first attempted to steal second, and a wild throw from freshman catcher Isabel Flores allowed the other runner to score. The first runner then attempted to take third, and another wild throw allowed her to come home, expanding the lead to 5-0.

Valley shortstop Téa Carbajal hits a double into deep left against Bakersfield College as she tries to bring Valley back from down 3-0 in the first inning of the Monarchs' last home game of the season, but was left stranded. Valley's only other hit came when center fielder Elizabeth Flores found the center field gap in the fourth. (Jose Callejas / The Valley Star)

A disagreement between Venger and the home plate umpire in the fourth led to the former being tossed. The coach received a warning earlier when he complained after Carbajal called time but the pitch came barreling towards her anyway.

With Venger gone, Bakersfield only built their lead from there as a triple and two singles in the fifth put the Renegades up by six, leading to a three-run home run by outfielder Shelby Buchanan.

A single and a walk led to another three-run home run, this time by utility player Kristen Burgeis, giving the Renegades a 12-0 victory as they improved their conference record to 10-0.

Elizabeth Flores and Pineda took photos with their teammates and were gifted bouquets of flowers after playing their last home game in a Monarch uniform.

“There’s so much passion, so much love, so many relationships that were built over time that I couldn’t be more thankful for,” said Pineda. “Obviously we took a loss today, but that does not faze me at all.”

Valley will travel to LA Mission College Tuesday and College of the Canyons Thursday before finishing their season at Glendale College on April 26.

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