TORRANCE -- Losing a pair of games in a California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) South Regional Playoff best-of-three series, the Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers fastpitch softball team --seeded No. 14 -- saw its season come to an end against the No. 3-seeded (and host) El Camino College (ECC) Warriors last Friday-Saturday, May 5-6.
Riverside City lost the series opener last Friday (May 5), 9-4, when the host Warriors broke a 4-4 tie with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. RCC trailed, 3-0, after the first inning, only to score three runs in the top of the second inning to forge a 3-3 tie. Frosh SS Kailee Gilbert (Moreno Valley - Canyon Springs HS) provided the big hit, a two-run double to left-center field.
The Tigers took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI single by frosh 2B A'loni Appleton (Rialto / Grand Terrace HS) before ECC tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Appleton went two for four with one run and one RBI. Gilbert also went two for four with two RBI.
RCC starting sophomore RHP Laura Mendez (Rialto - Carter HS) went the first 5-1/3 innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks with one strikeout. Mendez' record fell to 11-12.
In game two of the series, again host El Camino had a big first inning as it rolled out to a 4-0 lead. ECC led, 6-0, after four nnings before Riverside cut the deficit to 6-3 with a three-run top of the fifth. Frosh RF Kayla Giannatasio (Corona - Santiago HS) hit a two-run single to highlight the Tigers' action.
Riverside added a run in the top of the seventh and had the bases loaded to get close. RCC starting sophomore LHP Emily Wilcox (Alta Loma - Alta Loma HS) went the distance (6.0 innings) and allowed six runs (earned) on eight hits and two walks with one strikeout as her record finished at 3-6.
Riverside finished its season at 18-22 overall, 8-12 in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC), good enough for sixth place.
El Camino (36-6 overall) advances to one of two four-team Super Regionals (May 12-14) with the survivor advancing to the four-team CCCAA Championship Tournament (May 19-21) to be played at the Dean and Ada Gay Sports Complex on the campus of Bakersfield College.
RCC was the 2013 CCCAA state tournament runner-up.