One week after appearing in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s top 20 softball rankings, the Galveston College Whitecaps climbed another five spots to No. 13 in the latest national rankings.
The Whitecaps went 4-0 since the previous ranking period and after splitting a doubleheader against Louisiana State University-Eunice on Wednesday, GC is 20-4 overall.
“This is the second week that we’re ranked in the top 20 and we moved up another five spots to No. 13, which is due to the continued hard work of each of our players,” said Galveston College Athletic Director and Head Softball Coach, Kelly Raines. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far this season and now we have to keep it up.”
The No. 13-ranked Whitecaps lost a heart-breaking 6-4 extra-inning game against LSU-Eunice in the first part of Wednesday’s doubleheader, but GC came back strong in the night cap with a convincing 17-9 victory over the Bengals.
“We almost pulled off the come-back win in the first game against LSU-Eunice, but we came up short in extra innings,” said Raines. “Our bats got hot in the second game and even though we gave up some more runs than I would have liked, we outscored them to the finish line and the team was able to get some redemption.”
In the opening game loss, Whitecaps third baseman Aviana Gonzalez went 2-for-3 and scored a run, first baseman Tallulah Civoniceva and shortstop Emily Parks each went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in the first game.
GC hurler Gabby Guzman (9-2) pitched a complete game and was tagged with the loss, her second of the season. LSU-Eunice pitcher Chloe Bennett was awarded the victory and improved to 14-3.
The second game was a slugfest almost to the very end, which included four lead changes. Both squads combined for four homers and the Whitecaps were sparked by five-RBI performances from designated player Guzman, who pitched the opening game, and second baseman Samantha Gonzalez.
With the score tied 5-5, the Whitecaps pulled away after scoring three runs in the third inning and rallying for a five-run fourth to take a commanding 13-5 lead.
GC’s pitching shut down LSU-Eunice in the third and fourth frames before the Bengals made a last-ditch effort to come back with a four-run rally in the fifth and shortened the home team’s lead to four runs, 13-9.
That’s as close as the visitors would get. The Whitecaps tallied another four runs in their half of the fifth inning to claim the victory 17-9.
GC’s Samantha Gonzalez went 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and five RBIs and Guzman went 2-for-3 with a walk, a pair of runs scored and five RBIs. Left fielder Jessica Munro went 2-for-3, walked and scored three times, while first baseman Civoniceva went 1-for-1, received a free pass three times and scored four runs.
Starting pitcher Karlie Barba (5-0) went the distance and won her fifth game of the season for the Whitecaps. Barba went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Guzman, Gonzalez and Barba each hit home runs. LSU-Eunice starter Emma Shepard suffered the loss and dropped to 3-2.
The Whitecaps will be back in action and on the road against Lamar State College-Port Arthur on March 15 at 1 and 3 p.m. GC will play their next home game on March 18 at 1 and 3:30 p.m. against Blinn College 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.