Colton shows no mercy to Banning, wins CIF Wild Card game

Softball takes advantage of poor pitching and earns CIF playoff bid by defeating Banning 12-2


J. Dollins

Colton’s softball team celebrates a run in the fourth inning.

Colton, CA—It has been a wild season for Yellowjackets softball, and it is about to get wilder.

Sparked by the bat of Alyssa Ramirez and excellent pitching from Jasmine De La Rosa, the Lady Yellowjackets dominated the Banning Broncos, 12-2 in a game called over by mercy rule after the fifth inning.

The win earns Colton a spot in the Division 5 CIF Southern Section playoffs. On Thursday, they will travel to Lancaster to play Paraclete High.

While the final score shows a blowout, at first this game did not look like it was heading that direction. Going into the third inning, the game was scoreless. Banning looked like a tough opponent, racking up consecutive 1-2-3 innings.

Then, in the third, Banning drew first blood. A wild pitch by De La Rosa brought in Banning’s Nichelle Wayman for the Broncos first run. After that mistake, De La Rosa took care of the side.

In the bottom of the third, Alyssa Ramirez reached on a single, stole second base, and scored as Banning’s starter walked two consecutive batters. This tied the game up, and it looked like this one was going to be a nailbiter similar to last year’s playoff duel against Oak Hills.

But in the bottom of the 4th, game tied, Ramirez, Charlene Hernandez, and Justeen Robledo broke the game open with timely hits as Colton scored 7 runs. Banning’s pitchers struggled, and a costly error by their catcher on a missed throw to first base after a force out put the game out of reach for the visitors.

Banning tried to fight back in the fifth, with Banning’s Wayman hitting a solo home run, but it wasn’t enough. Strong defense by Valerie Varela at third base made it difficult for Banning to get anything out of the infield.

With this victory, Colton has won four of their last five games and is peaking at just the right time.