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MC sweep swept under Delta's rug

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 onto 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.

Lax's single capped a three-run rally in the seventh, leaving the She-Devils looking poised to sweep the two games.

Delta's Carmen Dallerhide and Jenn Costa spoiled the day, however.

Dallerhide doubled in the go-ahead run in the eighth and Costa put the 10-7 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."

Lax, who had two hits in the nightcap, wasn't the only She-Devil to break out on Thursday.

MC 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 RBI on the day and the She-Devils (2-4) had six extra-base hits.

With a 12-5 victory in the opener, MC's 19 combined runs surpassed its total from its opening four games last weekend.

"We shored up today about 90 percent of the things we did wrong over the weekend, so I was pleased to see them respond so quickly," Cassady said. "We know it's a good lineup, and it's set up to get production throughout.

"We just had an uncharacteristically tough time pitching the ball today."

Samantha Pressler started the opener, but couldn't get out of the second inning.

Cassady called an audible and brought intended second-game starter Kristen Kronberg into the game.

Kronberg held down the fort, earning her first win of the season with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Deborah McCollom was called on to start the second game, but struggled as well -- giving up six runs in 3 2/3.

Pressler relieved McCollom and was much sharper the second time around, shutting Delta down to help set up MC's seventh-inning rally.

"This is a team we should beat, but we kind of let it get away," Cassady said. "Still, I was very pleased with how we came back.

"There's a few things we still need to work on, but we're going to be a good team."

Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at slynch@mercedsun-star.com or via phone at 385-2476.

Game 1

MERCED COLLEGE 12

DELTA COLLEGE 5

At Merced College

Delta 050 000 0 -- 5 7 1

Merced 204 015 x -- 12 12 0

Jen Leyva, Jenn Costa (5) and Daniel Lilly. Samantha Pressler, Kriten Kronberg (2) and Kaylee Gibson. WP -- Kronberg 1-2. LP -- Leyva.

DELTA COLLEGE -- Cameron Dallerhide 2-4 (2B), Costa 2B, Lilly 2B.

MERCED COLLEGE -- Monica Hall 3B, Megan McColloch 2B, 3 R, Nicole Blades-Moore 4-4 (3 RBI), Kronberg 2-2 (RBI), Deborah McCollom 2-3 (RBI).

Game 2

DELTA COLLEGE 10

MERCED COLLEGE 7

At Merced College

Delta 102 300 13 -- 10 11 4

Merced 012 001 30 -- 7 8 0

Costa and Lilly. McCollom, Pressler (4), Kriten Kronberg (7) and Kaylee Gibson. WP -- Costa. LP -- Kronberg 1-3.

DELTA COLLEGE -- Anny Lowen 2-4 (2 R), Dallerhide 2-5 (2 (2B), RBI), Costa 3-4 (2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI), Stephanie Jones 3-5 (2B), Alyssa Harcastle 2-4 (2B).

MERCED COLLEGE -- Mallory Bair 2-4 (2B), Jordan Nash 2-5 (2 (2B)), Nicole Blades-Moore (2B), Kylie Lax 2-4 (2 RBI).

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