PCC softball pulled off an intense game winning play in the last inning as Orange Coast College (OCC) tried to rally back, ending the game with a final score of 4-3 Saturday at OCC.
Although the game was off to a slow start, both teams played hard on defense, as there were no errors made during the first two scoreless innings.
Up until the top of the third, freshman left fielder Brenda Rivas not only hit a single to center field but stole second base and scored off an RBI produced by freshman second baseman Karina Moreno, who hit a double to left field. OCC tried to respond but PCC was quicker as they made every play without letting the ball pass them.
“Don’t let anything drop … we emphasized that during the game,” Rivas said. “Just look at the coaches and try to execute what they’re telling us to do.”
It certainly didn’t stop there. In the top of the fourth, sophomore first baseman Derek Blow hit a homer to right center, notching her second home run of the season.
But coming into the sixth inning the momentum started to die down as OCC got two hits and one run in the fifth inning. PCC was only able to get one hit but no runs in the sixth as OCC’s pitcher was able to keep the Lancers off balance.
With OCC trailing by one with hopes of getting ahead, the Lancers came back in the top of the seventh as Moreno and first baseman Karen Najera brought in two runs with a score of 4-1.
“We really had to get back down to basics, back to ball contact, hit hard ground balls,” head coach Monica Tantlinger said. “We played base-to-base and we ended up getting what we needed.”
The Pirates definitely didn’t give up as they rallied back at the bottom of the seventh with OCC’s outfielder, Linnea Donahugh, hitting a home run to left field, scoring two runs, including Ariel Fernandez, who was walked by PCC’s Raeleen Fuentes. With OCC down by one, Fuentes walked another Pirate, Natalie Bramlett, who then stole second after PCC’s relief pitcher, Alyssa Madrid, stepped into the game.
It became a nail bitter with only two outs and what PCC hoped to be the Pirate’s last hitter up to bat when Taylor Gallo hit a long drive down center filed passed PCC’s second baseman Moreno, advancing Bramlett to third with Gallo right behind her. But freshman center fielder Cynthia McKeehan hustled to the ball with a strong and quick release to catcher Holly Riker-Sloan, who made a long stretch to tag Bramlett and end the game.
“I had total faith in her that she was going to get the throw to me,” Riker-Sloan said. “I just knew the second that ball was hit I knew we were going to get that out…it was close, it was scary but there was no doubt in my mind she was going to get it there for us.”
The Lancers travel to Mt. San Antonio College on Thursday Feb. 24 for a 4 p.m. game.