SFT: SBCC overpowers Pierce

Taylor Stanek tossed a 1-hitter on Thursday and Alex Abbott and Danielle de Castro drove in three runs apiece, sparking SBCC to a 24-0 softball victory over L.A. Pierce. The WSC Gold Division game was called after five innings by the 8-run rule.

Stanek, making her third start of the year at pitcher, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. She only allowed two baserunners in the first four innings (both reached on errors). Melissa Cortez broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single to left field in the fifth. Cortez was erased when shortstop Alice Cen started a 6-4-3 double play.

Abbott, De Castro, Cen, Brianna Portese, Amanda Caras all had two hits for the Vaqueros (16-14, 7-3), who rapped out 14 hits. They had five doubles, a triple and a two-run, inside-the-park home run by Shannon Kelly that capped an eight-run third inning.

Abbott and Portese scored four runs each for Santa Barbara, which led 10-0 after two innings and 18-0 after three. The Vaqueros are third in the WSC standings at 7-3, trailing Hancock (10-2) and Cuesta (9-2).

“We come out hard every game, no matter who we’re playing,” said Portese. “We don’t like to look at the other team’s stats. We just want to play at our level all the time. It felt pretty good to score 24 runs.”

Pierce (0-17, 0-12) committed eight errors, leading to 14 unearned runs.

Dakotah Wilcox had a two-run double in the fourth to boost the lead to 20-0. Abbott beat out an infield single and one batter later, De Castro tripled into the right-field corner to score Abbott.

“Our approach was to do what we needed to do as individuals, to play defense and get a good game from Taylor on the mound,” said coach Paula Congleton. “On offense, we worked on keeping our hands high and driving the gaps.

“We weren’t trying to run up the score or diminish anything L.A. Pierce was doing. It was about our game and what we need to do to get ready for the rest of conference.”

The Vaqueros travel to first-place Hancock for a key doubleheader on Tuesday, starting at 1 p.m.