Dons keep ball rolling against Royals

The San Marcos softball team could have used some help from the local firefighting crews in containing Santa Barbara on Monday, as 15 hits sparked the Dons in a 10-4 Channel League victory that was a makeup game from Friday, when Jesusita Fire evacuations were at their broadest.

After not having won a Channel League contest in at least eight years, the Dons have now won two in a row, both against the Royals. 

“We were just trying to keep our momentum up,” said Dons senior second baseman Sarah Leads. “We haven’t really been winning any league games so we wanted to start our season off right now and keep up our winning streak.

“It feels great, I’m glad we’re finally coming together as a team and everything is paying off.”


The Dons (10-11, 2-8) put seven runs on the board in the first two innings. The four-run second consisted of an RBI single to left from Leads, an RBI single center from starting pitcher Rebecca Neilsen-Robbins and Katie Rodman crushing a two-RBI double to deep left field. 

Neilsen-Robbins might have had another RBI, but Royals center fielder Tara Crawford threw a strike to catcher Jocelyn Flattery who had plenty of time to tag out Dons center fielder Erica Singer.

Singer flipped the tables an inning later when she made a nice catch on a hard-hit ball from Crawford that came with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third.

“I love centerfield so anytime the ball comes to me I get really excited,” said the senior.

While Crawford’s flyball didn’t clear the bases, it was deep enough to score Chelsea Friedman from third base and Kelly McKay followed with a two-out single up the middle that scored two runs and brought the Royals (6-13, 2-8) to within three at 7-4.

McKay’s at-bat lasted what seemed like forever, although Royals head coach Alex Sheldon put it at a more accurate 13 pitches.

“If we had a lot more at-bats like that we would have been in good shape today,” he said.

The Royals lost starting pitcher Emily Mason in the next half an inning after she was struck in the ribs by a line drive. She tried to walk it off but the Royals relieved her to be safe, turning to fellow senior Cady Haskell.  

Haskell induced a double play from the first batter she faced to get out of the fourth and ended up allowing only one unearned run in the final three and two thirds innings.

Neilsen-Robbins recorded a complete game, giving up four runs but only one earned. Add three strikeouts to her credit. 

The Santa Barbara seniors waited until the 11th hour of their high school careers to get that league win. The Dons have two games left against Dos Pueblos and the Royals’ last two-game set is with Ventura. 

“”I’ve been playing softball for 11 years now, so I really want to go out hard and do the best I can and end it on a good note,” said an already nostalgic Haskell.


Santa Barbara 340 120 0 – 10 15 3

San Marcos   004 000 0 – 4  4  1

SB – Neilsen-Robbins, and Lopez. SM – Mason, Haskell (4), and Flattery. 2B – SB Rodman 2. 3B – SM McKay.