Softball Bats Ignite For 1st Conference Win

Alysa Rojas rips a hit during the Lancers win (photo by Richard Quinton).
Alysa Rojas rips a hit during the Lancers win (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College softball team earned its first South Coast Conference victory for first-year head coach Audriana Gutierrez in routing East Los Angeles, 12-4, in five innings at Robinson Park on Friday.

The Lancers pounded 15 hits against ELAC pitching as all nine starters collected at least one basehit. Fittingly, PCC's last two batters, Alexis Garcia and Natalie Shahin, each joined the hit club, reaching on back-to-back infield singles to plate the final two runs for the mercy-rule, walk-off. 

PCC (7-24) has won three of its last four games overall and ended the program's 18-game conference losing streak that dated back to last year's SCC finale. For Gutierrez, she was both happy and relieved to finally pick up a conference victory.

"I am so proud at how this group has come together and continuously work hard to improve on a daily basis," Gutierrez said. "It was only a matter of time before picking up a South Coast Conference win. We do play in a rather tough conference. I'm just happy that they were able to pull together for each other today."

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Adriana Valdez, Monica Gutierrez and Alysa Rojas all delivered RBI singles for a 3-1 PCC lead. ELAC responded with three runs in the top of the second before Breanna Negrete regained PCC's advantage at 6-4 by lining a 3-run homer over the left field fence. 

The onslaught continued in the fourth with Leiana Rodriguez stroking a 2-RBI single up the middle. Alyssa Guzman, who was 3-for-3, knocked in a run on a single in the fifth. Rodriguez batted 2-for-3 as did catcher Lucero Alcaraz while Valdez and Rojas both were 2-for-4. Negrete scored three runs and stole a base. 

The beneficiary of the hitting attack was pitcher Ivy Avalos, who gave up just five hits and one earned run with no walks for the victory in the circle. 

On Thursday, Valdez batted 2-for-2 but Cerritos ace Reanna Carranza tossed a 3-hit shutout over the Lancers, 8-0, in six innings. Cerritos is the state's #18-ranked team. 

PCC next hosts #8-rated Long Beach City on Tuesday, April 16 in a 2:30 home contest.