A seventh-inning rally brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but the Allan Hancock College softball team lost a non-conference game to Taft 7-5 on Friday in Santa Maria. The Bulldogs dropped to 17-13-1 overall, while Taft moved to 12-22.
Taft scored once in the second inning against Hancock starting pitcher Hannah Diaz to take the early 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs answered in the home half as Alyssa Gonzalez slugged a RBI-double and later scored on an errant throw to second when Sabrina Ornelas stole second later in the frame to give Hancock a 2-1 lead.
The Cougars erupted for four runs in the third, fueled by a two-run home run off the bat of C Zimmerman to build a 5-2 lead. They added another run in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. The Bulldogs got one back in the sixth when Mackenzie Baird doubled to drive in Zaiden Bakke to make it a 6-3 game.
Taft answered once again with a run on a wild pitch in the seventh to regain a four-run lead at 7-3. Hancock made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh. Crystal Gonzalez reached on an error to lead off the seventh and moved to second on a groundball. Mallory Townsend followed with a RBI-triple to drive in Gonzalez to make it a 7-4 game. Bailey Killough lofted a fly ball that was misplayed by the left fielder allowing Townsend to score and Killough to reach base safely. Bakke followed with a double to gap, moving Killough to third. With the tying run at second, Nikole Cody lined out to shortstop and Alyssa Gonzalez grounded out to end the game.
Bakke went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a double to lead Hancock's nine-hit attack.
Diaz took the loss in the circle despite striking out a career-high eight. She allowed 10 hits, seven runs, six of them earned, and walked two.
Hancock returns to conference action when it hosts Moorpark on Tuesday, April 17, at 1 p.m.