Led by first-year coach Dakotah Wilcox, the Carpinteria High School softball team hosted Nipomo for a non-league doubleheader last weekend, dropping both games, 9-1 and 6-4. The pair of losses puts the Warriors at 3-4 overall on the year, and 1-1 in the Citrus Coast League (CCL). Despite the minor setback, Wilcox, a Carpinteria alum who played softball from 2009 to 2012, is enjoying the ride so far. “A part of me is like I want to be out there, but I just love it,” said Wilcox of her new gig.

The first game in the morning was taken by the Titans, as their freshman fire-baller Key-annah Pu’a pitched a complete game. “I believe it was more of a psychological thing, where it (the velocity of the ball) was in their heads a little bit,” explained Wilcox of the Nipomo phenom who struck out 13 Warriors. Pu’a ended up throwing seven innings, giving up two hits and a run in the 9-1 opener.

In the second game, Carpinteria got it going early. With the game scoreless going into the bottom of the second inning, Kenna Mayer got the first hit for the home team with a single down the left field line. Warrior pitcher Madison Mora then reached first base on an error with Mayer taking third on. Then, Klarissa Flores got to first on a bobbled grounder by the shortstop, scoring Mayer to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

Following a shutdown inning by Mora, Carpinteria went back to work in the bottom of the third. Jocelyn Richardson reached on an error, followed by walks to Becca Bray and Isabel Studt to load the bases. Yaya Gonzalez proceeded with a single up the middle, scoring both Richardson and Bray. Then, Studt, scored an errant throw bringing the count to 4-0. The Warriors loaded the bases for a second time in the inning, but Titan pitcher Mimi Wolf was able to retire the next three batters to keep the deficit at four.  

After a one-two-three inning in the third and an inning ending double play in the fourth, Carpinteria achieved their lead going into the fifth. However, the fifth was a different story. After a single by Wolf, a sacrifice to second and an errant throw brought in the first run for the Titans to make it 4-1. Next, Sydney Miller got an infield hit, and Ahlijah Realin’s double to right center cut the lead in half at 4-2.

Nipomo brought in Pu’a in the bottom half of the inning to try and keep the Warriors from adding to their lead. Although Carpinteria was able to get a couple of hits off her in the final three innings, she once again proved to be effective. Meanwhile, the Titan hitters appeared to be figuring out Mora, scoring two in the sixth and two more in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead going into the final inning. Pu’a proceeded to set down the side in order to preserve the 6-4 win.

Gonzalez and Mayer each had two hits for the Warriors in the game. Despite coming up empty in the win column, Wilcox is confident that her team will rebound. “When I was here for 2011-12, those are the years we won league, we went to playoffs… and I was telling them you guys have it, to take it that much farther,” said Wilcox.

Coming up, Carpinteria travels to Santa Paula for a CCL matchup on March 21, with the first pitch to be thrown at 3:30 p.m.

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