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Clip: Comets battle back and win title 8-3 over Jaguars

05/04/2009

Complete article appeared in The Telescope (May 4, 2009)

Palomar and Southwestern played a game of the hare and the tortoise. Southwestern was the hare and jumped out to an early lead. Palomar was the tortoise and scored six unanswered runs in the six inning after a slow start to beat the visiting Jaguars 8-3.
“It’s inevitable to have a letdown after the big win we had last week,” head coach Mark Eldridge said of the slow start.
That big win was against Grossmont last week. The Comets won 8-5 and secured at least a tie for first in conference.
“We got a lot of pats on the back because it was such a big win and it affected us today,” Hutchinson said.
Palomar becomes the outright Pacific Coast Conference softball champion. It’s the 23rd title the Comets have won or tied in the last 24 years.
“This was a redemption year, ” pitcher Alex Hutchinson said. “We weren’t sure how it was going to turn out and we finally turned around as a team and kicked butt.”
The Comets got off to a slow start. Chelsea Blackman, who usually comes in to relieve Alex Hutchinson, started the game. Southwestern struck first with a two-run homer in the first inning for a 2-1 lead.
Things got a bit out of hand and Palomar was unable to score and left runners in scoring position.
“I was never worried,” Hutchinson said. “We never believe that we’re out of a game.”
The Comets didn’t panic, but seemed to be a little nervous.
“With our backs to the wall, we responded like a championship team,” Eldridge said.
Things turned around for the Comets in the fourth inning. Amanda Avila got on base with a double. She later scored on an RBI fly out by Melissa Elliot to bring the Comets within one run of Southwestern.
Hutchinson began to warm up in the bullpen.
Hutchinson came in and pitched Southwestern to a standstill, the Palomar bats suddenly started to make contact with the ball.
At the start of the sixth inning, Kristen Dahl and Andrea Nedden doubled. Melissa Elliot singled in a run that brought the Comets even with Southwestern 3-3.
The Comet bench had new life and Hutchinson could be heard saying, ” that’s all I needed.”
Indeed, the team went on and scored six runs to win the game 8-3 and win the conference title outright.
The Comets next step is the playoffs, which start this month. Palomar is 6-12 versus opponents out of conference and losers of their last three. Something that isn’t good when your about to enter the playoffs.
The Comets end the regular season 21-17 overall and 13-2 in conference.

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