Softball Shuts Out ELAC, Remain In 2nd In SCC North

PCC first baseman Valley Febles puts the tag on a East LA runner during the Lancers win on Tuesday, photo by Richard Quinton.
PCC first baseman Valley Febles puts the tag on a East LA runner during the Lancers win on Tuesday, photo by Richard Quinton.

The Pasadena City College softball team moved to two games ahead in the win column over Chaffey as it continues to be in second place in the South Coast Conference North Division behind a 3-0 shutover over East Los Angeles at Robinson Park on Tuesday.

The Lancers improved to 21-11 overall and 12-6 in the SCC. ELAC dropped to 14-14 and 7-9. PCC won the season series v. the Huskies (2-0) with one more game to play against them on April 15 at ELAC.

Lancers freshman pitcher Austyn Helmuth (8-6) pitched her fourth shutout, and third this season via 7 innings as she twirled a 4-hitter. Helmuth had a rare game where she didn't allow a walk nor struck out a batter as the Lancers defense recorded all 21 outs. Helmuth retired East LA on 10 groundouts, six popups or flyouts and five line outs, one she snagged in the first inning. ELAC never put a runner past second base despite doubles by Jennifer Rivera and Julie Granadeno. Helmuth, from San Dimas High, lowered her overall ERA to 2.27 and conference ERA to 1.47.

PCC scored the only run it would need in the first inning. Third baseman Samantha Diaz led off by reaching base on an infield single to shortstop, then stole second. She moved to third on shortstop Kaylee Medrano's line single to left. Lancers head coach Monica Tantlinger then put things into action as Medrano jogged her way toward second and drew a throw from the East LA catcher. While Medrano was eventually thrown out in a rundown, Diaz raced home for her second stolen base and a 1-0 Lancers lead.

In the second inning, the Lancers added their other two runs after back-to-back bunt singles by catcher Jennie Chacon and centerfielder Gabi Perez. Rightfiedler Alise Allen drove in a run on a ELAC error to second base and Diaz hit a sacrifice fly for the 3-0 advantage.

The sophomore Medrano batted 2-for-3 and is on a monster hitting tear in which she has hit 24-for-her-last-46 (.522) in the past 19 games. Medrano, who leads the team in six hitting categories, has a .414 overall batting average. Chacon also was 2-for-3, including a double. Diaz is the team's top batter in conference-only games with a .382 average in 18 games.

The Lancers next play at Saddleback in a non-conference game on Wednesday, April 10 in a 5 p.m. first pitch.