Ruiz Run Machine Lifts Softball In SCC Play

Lancer shortstop Danielle Ruiz is putting up big offensive numbers this season, photo by Michael Watkins.
Lancer shortstop Danielle Ruiz is putting up big offensive numbers this season, photo by Michael Watkins.

After leading the Pasadena City College softball team in batting average and recording a .500 on-base percentage last year as an All-South Coast Conference First Team freshman second baseman, Danielle Ruiz has transitioned to shortstop in 2020 while putting together more torrid offensive numbers in her sophomore season.

Ruiz is 13-for-her-last-19 at bats (.684) with 12 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, eight walks, and three doubles. Her on-base percentage during her current 7-game hitting streak is .786 as she has reached safely in 22 of her last 28 plate appearances. Ruiz's consistency has helped the Lancers come out of a team 3-game losing slump with two, SCC road victories this week.

Overall, Ruiz, a product of South El Monte High, leads the team in batting (.487) and is second in the state in walks (18), third in the state in stolen bases with 15, and 12th in California in on-base percentage (.630). 

PCC is back to .500 overall at 7-7 and raised its conference record to a solid 5-3. 

On Thursday, Compton College found a way to get Ruiz out twice, but the sophomore scored three times and knocked in three RBI in accounting for nearly half of the team's runs in a 14-2, 5-inning mercy win over the Tartars. The rest of the Lancers did their part as well v. Compton as leftfielder Miranda Padilla batted 3-for-3, scored three times and stole two bases, centerfielder Olivia Nanez went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI, third baseman Samantha Diaz batted 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, and catcher Jennie Chacon was 2-for-3.

Rightfielder Desiree Huerta hit 1-for-2 with two walks and backup catcher Ashley Guzman ripped a RBI double. Flex infielder Valley Febles added a single. 

Pitcher Austyn Helmuth, who was 2-for-3 with a booming double to deep center and two runs driven in, tossed a 5-hitter, allowing just one earned run to pick up her second circle win. 

On Tuesday, Ruiz hit 2-for-3 with three runs and stole four bases as the Lancers downed host East Los Angeles, 8-4. In the third inning, the freshman Padilla launched a 3-run homer over the left field fence to give PCC a commanding 6-1 lead. Padilla finished with two hits.

First baseman Katelyn Wooton added two RBI, going 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. Elena Bahnimtewa still has a perfect record in the pitching circle at 5-0 by pitching four innings, allowing five hits and three runs. Helmuth recorded her state-leading third save on three shutout innings, limiting the Huskies to two hits. 

On Feb. 21 at Robinson Park, El Camino defeated PCC, 5-2, despite a 4-for-4 day by Ruiz, who also lined two doubles. Helmuth pitched a 7-inning, complete game with a season-high seven strikeouts. On Feb. 20, Rio Hondo handed the visiting Lancers an 8-6 setback. Ruiz hit 2-for-3 with three stolen bases. Nanez reached base all four at-bats on two hits and two walks and Wooton was 2-for-4. 

Today, Friday, Feb. 28, Coach Monica Tantlinger's Lancers play a non-conference, doubleheader at Citrus College. PCC takes on the host Owls at 12 noon and then Santa Ana College at 2 p.m.