Sports

Merced splits doubleheader with Delta

Megan McCulloch and Merced slid past Delta in the opener of a twin bill Thursday.  The Blue Devils lost the nightcap.
Megan McCulloch and Merced slid past Delta in the opener of a twin bill Thursday. The Blue Devils lost the nightcap. Merced Sun-Star

MERCED -- Kylie Lax was concerned she'd played herself right out of the lineup.

The Merced College left fielder tweaked her back in the fall and has since struggled to re-find her swing.

Lax said Thursday's doubleheader with Delta College was her last chance to hold on to her starting spot.

The sophomore's two-out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh in Game 2 likely earned her a reprieve, even though the Blue Devils lost 10-7. Merced won the first game 12-5.

Delta's Carmen Dallerhide doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth and Jenn Costa put the victory away with her second home run of the game.

"Coach is always talking to us about wanting Zen in the right moment," Lax said. "I'd been struggling so it was nice to come through for my team. I thought we had them when we tied it up. I never thought they'd come right back like that."

Merced coach Steve Cassady was pleased with the production he got throughout his lineup in both games.

Center fielder Nicole Blades-Moore had five hits and three RBIs on the day and the Blue Devils (2-4) had six extra-base hits. Merced's 19 combined runs surpassed its total from its opening four games last weekend.

JC Golf

MJC 4TH, at Napa -- Joel Hopkins led the Pirates in a practice round for Big 8 Conference teams, shooting a 78 at the par-72, 6,900-yard Silverado Country Club. He birdied the par-3 No. 11. MJC totaled 426 while Santa Rosa had the day's low score at 389.

Bee staff contributed to this report.

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