The Saddleback softball team kept pace in the Orange Empire Conference with an 8-2 win over Fullerton College on Wednesday in Fullerton. Haliegh Wilkerson continued her charge, finishing with three hits on the day.
Saddleback entered Wednesday's game needing a win to remain in third place in the OEC and a shot at the upcoming playoffs. The Gauchos rallied for four runs in the fourth inning and eventually broke the game open to improve to 20-14 overall and 10-7 in conference play.
Wilkerson (pictured) continued her hot streak over the past five weeks, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBI. Her double in the fourth inning got the Gauchos going, scoring Haley Rose to tie the game at 1-1. She then singled in the fifth inning, which was the first of back-to-back hits by Saddleback as Amanda Padilla followed with an RBI single to give the Gauchos a 5-1 lead. Wilkerson's final hit came in the seventh inning when she doubled home Reis Birkett with Saddleback's final run of the game. Wilkerson is now batting .361 after Wednesday's performance with a team-leading 26 RBI for the year.
Drew Moore, Birkett and Emma Gastelum also collected two hits apiece as Saddleback gashed Fullerton pitching for 12 hits on the afternoon. Nelsa Delagente pitched a complete game, five-hitter in improving to 18-14 on the season.
Saddleback overtook Santa Ana for third place in the conference standings after the Lady Dons (21-15, 9-9) lost to Santiago Canyon on Wednesday. The Gauchos enter the final four games of the season with the No. 19 RPI in the south.
Saddleback will host Orange Coast on Friday at 2:00 PM at Trani Field.