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Merced College softball hopes for renewed spirits

Steve Cassady gave his Merced College softball team the weekend off.

The She-Devils coach didn't need his 21 years of experience to spot his team's fatigue.

"We had played 12 games in 13 days in six towns, so we were a little tired," Cassady said. "Our bats were a little slow. You could just tell.

"When you can't think of what you should do the next day in practice, it usually means you shouldn't have practice."

MC (13-2 CVC, 29-14) will need to recover quickly as it begins the final week of Central Valley Conference play with the conference title still up for grabs.

The action begins today when the She-Devils travel to Fresno City for a 3 p.m. game.

CVC play concludes on Thursday with a big doubleheader against second-place College of the Sequoias (11-2 CVC, 25-17-1) at She-Devil Diamond.

Porterville's shocking two-game sweep of the She-Devils last week has tightened things up heading into the final week.

MC needs to win two of the three games to secure Cassady's fifth title.

The MC coach is confident his team is up to the task.

"When you're cruising along and winning games, consecutive losses can be kind of a shock," Cassady said. "They'll weather that and move on. We're a one-game-at-a-time kind of team anyway."

The She-Devils swept Fresno in a doubleheader earlier in the year. MC will likely square off against Rams ace Ryan Scortt, who is 6-4 in conference and 14-12 overall.

The She-Devils torched Scortt for nine runs on 15 hits, both of which were season highs for Scortt.

"A lot of it is matchups," Cassady said. "getting the right hitters up against pitchers. There wasn't necessarily anything we saw against Scortt.

"It might just be that the way she likes to pitch is the kind of pitching we like to hit."

"We had played 12 games in

13 days in six towns, so we were a little tired. Our bats were a little slow. You could just tell."