After rallying from 5-1 down to take a 7-5 lead, the Pasadena City College softball team got burned by a an umpire decision, a great defensive play, and some timely hitting by visiting Southwestern in a 9-7 loss at Robinson Park on Saturday.
The Lancers (0-2) battled back from their deficit thanks to a 5-run, third inning. Rightfielder Samantha Diaz started the rally with a solo home run over the left field fence in the third, then a 2-RBI single by designated player Desiree Huerta. A dropped fly ball hit by catcher Jennie Chacon gave PCC a 6-5 lead.
The Lancers thought they had increased the lead to two on a line drive RBI single off the left field fence by first baseman Katelyn Wooton but after a Southwestern protest the home umpire ruled that a lineup card first name mismatching technicality was enough to erase Wooton's single, ruling her out to end the inning. While Huerta would add a sacrifice fly to make it 7-5 again in the fifth, the bizarre ruling ended up haunting PCC.
With the lead sliced to 7-6, Pasadena shortstop Danielle Ruiz launched a bomb to deep center but SWC outfielder Samantha Green leaped and somehow robbed Ruiz of a home run as Green landed into the mesh net fence while holding on to the amazing catch. In the seventh, Green tied the game at 7-7 with a ground-rule double. Then with bases loaded and two outs, pinch hitter Kianna Knoll lined a double to right center despite a diving attempt by PCC centerfielder Olivia Nanez that plated two and the lead again for the Jaguars.
PCC went down 1-2-3 in the seventh to finish the long contest that lasted 2 hours, 34 minutes. Diaz batted 2-for-3 as did both Huerta (three RBI) and shortstop Danielle Ruiz, including a double. Second baseman Ahylie Rosales was 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, Pasadena will begin South Coast Conference play when it hosts Compton College in a 2:30 p.m. start.