Since the beginning of March, the Riverside City College softball squad has been on a tear by winning their opening three games in mercy-rule fashion. They played host to the San Diego City College Knights on Tuesday night in non-conference action and continued the streak by routing the Knights by the final score of 8-0 in five innings.
Riverside has only allowed two runs in the past four games, outscoring their opponents 35-2. While the offense has been as formidable as ever, the pitching has been downright dominant since March rolled around.
Sophomore starter Lorena Fitch, who earned her seventh win in the circle tonight, has been one of the most reliable arms as she has tossed nine innings in the past four games while allowing just five hits, no runs, and fanning six batters.
Offensively, freshman shortstop Karter Williams has been carting the hottest bat as she extended her hitting streak to 14 games. She punched in a 3-for-3 day with three runs scored and an RBI. Nine of her 14 games she has barreled two or more hits and has scored in 11-consecutive contests.
Williams got the scoring trend started tonight with an RBI-single through the left side on the first pitch of her at-bat, scoring freshman center Samantha Peluffo. Freshman catcher Zinaida Preciado followed with a two-RBI double to right center field, scoring sophomore third baseman Danielle Lopez and Williams. Preciado came around to score on two batters later on a dropped fly ball, thus earning a 4-0 advantage.
Riverside did not let up on the gas pedal the following half inning by etching a three spot. Lopez struck with two outs in the bottom of the second with a two-RBI double to deep left field, plating Williams and Peluffo. Zinaida followed a batter later with an infield single, scoring Lopez, to grab a 7-0 lead.
Riverside made the mercy rule become a reality by scoring an insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Tigers worked the bases loaded and freshman designated player Alicia Rivera barreled a single up the middle, scoring Williams, thus leading to an 8-0 win.
The top five batters in the Tiger's lineup combined for a 9-for-15 mark at the plate with all eight runs scored. Williams paced the Tigers with three this, while Peluffo, Lopez and Preciado recorded three hits.
Riverside (11-8, 2-4 OEC) will return to Orange Empire Conference (OEC) play by facing off against the Fullerton College Hornets on the road at 3 p.m.