In the end, it came down to one team squeezing past the other.
Stephanie Wood squeezed home Kady Kepner in the sixth inning with what proved to be the winning run in Valley College's 4-3 softball victory over Moorpark in a Western State Conference South Division game Wednesday at Valley.
It was the first loss in division play for Moorpark (9-8, 6-1). Valley improved to 6-7, 2-4.
"Maybe they came in a little flat," Valley Coach Kodee Murray said of Moorpark.
Right-hander Jen Moulden (6-5) went the distance for the Monarchs, allowing four hits and striking out three. She did not walk a batter.
"Jen is an outstanding pitcher," Murray said. "She could very easily be throwing at a (four-year) school."
Perhaps she could, but Wednesday she was taking care of the Raiders, who managed only two hits through the first four innings.
Those came on two triples by first baseman Jennifer Edwards--one in the first and the other in the fourth. Edwards scored Moorpark's first run on a groundout by Heather Pierskalla.
By that time, Valley held a 2-0 lead after roughing up right-hander Kelly Lovato (7-6) in the first inning.
Monarch leadoff batter DeDe Molina was hit by a pitch and Angie Montes reached on an infield single.
Another infield hit, this one by Kepner, loaded the bases.
Lovato then hit Moulden to force in a run and, after a double play, Rachel Velis knocked in Kepner with a single.
Moorpark tied the game, 2-2, in the fifth when Andrea Dominguez reached third on two Monarch errors, and scored on an infield single by Holly Bennett.
Valley's Montes led off the sixth with a walk and Kepner followed with a double to center field.
Left fielder Dayna Skinner then dropped a fly ball by Moulden, allowing Montes to score and sending Kepner to third.
Kepner raced home moments later on Wood's squeeze to make it 4-2.
The Raiders pulled to within a run with two out in the seventh when Moulden fielded Liz Lopez's bunt and threw wildly into right field. Lopez rounded the bases and scored on the miscue.
Kepner and Velis each had two hits for Valley, which reinstated its softball program this season after a layoff of several years.
Lovato pitched well in the middle innings and at one point retired 10 consecutive batters before faltering in the sixth.