The womenâ€™s softball team came out strong in the College of the Desert â€œBest on Grassâ€ Tournament on Jan. 25-26 despite going home 1-3. A huge win over Orange Coast College on Jan. 25 foreshadowed potential as the young team swept the Pirates 17-5 in the fifth inning.
The Lancers fell short to Imperial Valley, Sacramento City, and Allan Hancock colleges losing 18-8, 11-3, and 4-1 on Jan. 26.
â€œAlthough our record may not reflect it, we played well,â€ said Head Coach Brittany Williams in an email. â€œWe saw a lot of our potential, and we also saw which areas of the game we need to focus on this week in practice.â€
Fridayâ€™s energetic game against Orange Coast was the strong point of the tournament. Freshman third baseman Sara Quintero hit a rocket, three-run homerun over center field at her first at-bat of the tournament.
â€œI immediately started crying,â€ said Quintero. â€œI havenâ€™t felt that feeling of ripping the ball that hard since high school, which was five years ago.â€
Confidence flooded the field as the Lancers came out scoring five points in the first inning alone. Freshman third baseman Katelyn Thordarson contributed at the plate, hitting three-for-five with two doubles, a single, four runs batted in and three runs scored. Quintero had five RBIs that game as well.
Freshman pitcher Melissa Izumida held the Pirates to an impressive two earned runs.
â€œOverall we came out very strong,â€ said Williams. â€œIt was great. They had a lot of energy, they were focused, and they did what they needed to do. It all came together in that game.â€
After a great victory the Lancers faced Imperial Valley trailing 13-5. Within five innings the game was suspended due to darkness. The sixth inning was continued on Saturday resulting in a 10-point upset for PCC.
â€œWe started very strong and confident in our first game and then we settled going into the second game thinking it would be the same,â€ said returning outfielder Ashley Shaneberger who had two singles, and walked three times. â€œAs a team we did very well considering our defense hasnâ€™t had much time to work together.â€
The rest of Saturday became a learning experience.
Sacramento City defeated PCC in the fifth inning, followed by a three-point loss to Allan Hancock. Regardless of the scores, Lancersâ€™ offense remained solid, and freshman Audrey Serna was proof of that.
She hit her first collegiate two-run homerun against Sacramento City, and finished the weekend with seven hits, including two doubles and three singles and eight RBIs. Thordarson had six hits, two of them being doubles, and six RBIs. Quintero finished with three hits and five RBIs in four games.
â€œIâ€™m not worried about our offense at all,â€ said Quintero confidently. â€œOther teams should be scared.â€
Both pitchers improved over the course of the tournament according to Williams. Freshman pitcher Cierra Newton held a â€œvery talentedâ€ Allan Hancock to only three earned runs.
â€œEveryone accepted the challenge and did their job to the best of their ability,â€ said Williams. â€œWe improved with each game, and got our first win under our belts. I was happy with the weekend.â€