MESA, Ariz.- The Mesa Community College Thunderbirds (30-15, 25-15 ACCAC) swept a doubleheader, 4-1 and 3-0, Tuesday afternoon, as the Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes (19-29-1, 13-27) stranded five base runners to end both games.
Pitcher Jamie Pollak, of Chandler’s Corona Del Sol High School, was the difference on both sides of the plate for the Thunderbirds in the second game, not only recording a shutout but smacking a three-run home run to left in the bottom of the fourth– the game’s only points.
“The end of the game got a little tight, but my defense was flawless today,” Pollak said. “It felt really good because she (pitcher Haley Skousen) had been pounding me inside. The first at bat she beat me, and I popped up, so I knew if I hit this hard, I could help my team, and it put three on the board for us.”
Pollak and Skousen were both throwing gems before Pollak drove in Carissa Reisinger and Tiffanee Frampton, who led off the fourth with singles. The Coyotes had a chance in the top of the seventh, as Emily Gale and Rae Gulley singled with one out. They were advanced to second and third with two outs, when MCC intentionally walked Richele Shuler to load the bags. Catcher Lauren Anderson grounded out to strand the three.
“When you get two hits,” MCC coach Jon Malgradi said, “sometimes you have to gamble a bit, and if you lose, you didn’t put yourself in the best spot to win the game as it is, worst case scenario, we have to go to the plate in the bottom of the seventh down 4-3.”
The first game began with Reisinger singling, then stealing second for the Thunderbirds. Pollak, starting at third base, drove her home with two outs, and Bailey Blake scored Pollak to take a 2-0 lead. In the second, Madison Edwards doubled off of CGCC’s Megan Rossing to score Christina Smith.
The Coyotes were on the board in the top of the third, when Kathleen Watson-Otani singled home Anderson to make it 3-1.
The Thunderbirds made it 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Reisinger tripled, then was sent home by pitcher Frampton, who also stole second during the next at bat. The Coyotes left runners on second and third in the top of the seventh.
“Our pitchers threw well all day,” Malgradi said. “Frampton threw well in the first game, and Pollak threw well in the second. Sometimes Jamie in that second game maybe tried to do too much, but she’s thrown the pitches she’s needed to when she’s needed to, and our defense has really came around in the last few weeks.
“That’s Jamie’s second straight shutout, and her third game in a row where she hasn’t allowed an earned run. She’s the type that has a very high expectation of herself, and that’s a good thing for a pitcher, you like to have that perfectionist type.”
Coach Malgradi said a numer of the MCC players are being recruited to four-year colleges next season. Frampton has committed to BYU-Hawaii, Blake has a visit to Troy arranged, and Pollak is visiting Northern Colorado and UC-San Diego.
Drury University, located in Springfield, Mo., is a hot ticket for five of the players, as third baseman Angela Arrendondo, catcher Shelby Richardson, Reisinger, Blake, and Pollak are all interested.