NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The short drive home from the Glendale Sports Complex must have felt long for the Glendale Community College softball team Saturday after getting blown out, 8-0, by Santa Barbara Community College.
Santa Barbara hit the road early after its first game of the season — dispatching host Glendale in five innings. The easy victory came behind a stellar pitching performance from Kailey Snyder, leaving Santa Barbara's Coach Paula Congleton with little to critique.
"Overall, we had a good day," Congleton said. "You can't complain when you win and get to go home early."
Glendale's two pitchers, Jennifer Meza and Brandy Morin, couldn't match Snyder's effort, combining for eight hits and seven walks. Glendale Coach Dave "Hawk" Wilder saw a clear difference in the game.
"They hit the ball and we didn't," Wilder said. "Our pitchers gave up hits and we couldn't hit the ball."
Santa Barbara (1-0) pressured Meza, Glendale's starting pitcher, from the very beginning. It stranded a runner at third base in the first inning before scratching out the game's first run in the second via a sacrifice fly.
Next inning, Santa Barbara got some cushion as Laura Cannon and Carly Smith led off the third with a single and a triple. Two batters later, Jasmyne Holmes chased Cannon in with a line-drive shot over the center fielder's head that went for an inside-the-park home run.
Meza retired the side in order in the fourth inning but was pulled for the lefty, Morin, to start the fifth. The new look didn't phase Santa Barbara, which manufactured four runs behind three singles and three walks in the fifth to go up, 8-0.
Glendale (2-3) was unable to scratch out a run in the bottom of the fifth inning and was forced to pack up and go home early.
"[Santa Barbara] came here to play the game," Wilder said. "They hit the ball and their pitcher did a good job and shut us down.
"There's really not much you can do."
Snyder struck out nine batters, more than the six runners she allowed on base (three hits, two walks and one error). The secret to her success was getting ahead in the count.
"She had really good control today and everything seemed to be working," Congleton said. "Overall, she seemed to keep the Glendale batters off balance."
Wilder said things can only get better for his young team.
"I think this team is still the best team we're ever going to have here, but when you don't hit the ball you're not going to win games," Wilder said. "The bottom line is we have to hit the ball.
"I think the more we see it, the better we'll get."
Glendale will look to get back in the win column with two home games next week against Antelope Valley College on Wednesday and San Diego Southwestern College on Saturday.