Down by three runs with two outs in the first inning, all the Lancers wanted was an out to get them out of the hole and back on offense. The softball team maintained their strategy and beat the Los Angeles Harbor College Seahawks 6-5 on Wednesday afternoon on their home turf to improve their record to 10-5 overall.
Despite knocking at Harbor’s door in the bottom of the first inning, the Lancers couldn’t capitalize. In the bottom of the second, led by Anais Sustayta’s bunt single and stolen base, the Lancers were able to tie the game at 3 and then score another run to take the 4-3 lead.
Freshman Derek Blow had a good game and did well in the batter’s box, getting on base twice and driving in a run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“Coach told us that we should be getting on base, get [teammates] around, hit the ball hard, and play the pitcher the way we’re supposed to be so we can get the W,” Blow said.
The Lancers stayed in the zone for the rest of the game, overcoming the Seahawks’ tying run in the third inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Holly Riker-Sloan stepped up to bat and smacked a pitch over the right field fence to give the Lancers a 5-4 lead. That started a half-inning surge that included Jennifer Pegg’s single, Yecenia Cardenas’ two stolen bases in a row and a sacrifice-fly to deep right field by Blow to bring another run in and make it 6-4.
In the seventh inning, the Seahawks attempted to make the game interesting but couldn’t score more than one run due to great awareness and defense by the Lancers.
Head coach Monica Tantlinger said her team has changed their mentality to “play to win” and has been working on finishing games when they are in control.
“Play like you have a lead and finish it up,” Tantlinger said. “Go out there and play like you have the lead, you are in control, and finish the game. I thought that Breanna Rodrigo did just that. She went in and thought how she can get the batter out, and she rolled a ground-ball to our shortstop and did what we needed.”
Freshman third baseman Jackie Aguilar said that coach didn’t say anything in particular during their comeback, showing trust in her team’s decision-making to get the win.
“We just have to work at our level,” Aguilar said. “We didn’t play how we were supposed to today, and we have to be prepared to play tomorrow.”
The Lancers (1-4 in conference) travel to East Los Angeles College (1-4 conference, 2-6 overall) to play their conference opponents on Thursday Feb. 26 at 3 p.m.