The Riverside City College softball team hosted the Orange Coast College Pirates in a crucial Orange Empire Conference (OEC) game on Friday afternoon. Aided by a strong outing from sophomore hurler Lorena Fitch, the Tigers sailed off into the sunset with a dominant victory by the final score of 11-2 in six innings.
The Tigers earned their eighth victory via mercy rule. Today's win acted as the seventh mercy rule win of the season and their fourth conference mercy rule triumph.
Fitch, who entered the circle for the 15th start this season, and provided the Tigers with a solid foundation from the get go. She blanked the Pirates through the opening three frames while only allowing the Pirates to put one runner in scoring position. She fanned a pair of batter during that streak as well.
Riverside struck early with their first two runs coming in the bottom of the second inning. After leading off the inning with a walk, sophomore third baseman Danielle Lopez touched home on a throwing error by the Pirate's third baseman. Sophomore second baseman followed a batter later by launching a double to right-center field, plating sophomore first baseman Jocelyn Ontiveros to grab a 2-0 advantage.
Freshman designated player Zinaida Preciado chipped in on the scoring action in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI double to right center, plating freshman left fielder Dani Melendez to extend their lead. Riverside continued to press down on the gas pedal in the following inning as sophomore shortstop Karter Williams barreled a two-RBI single to left field. Freshman center fielder Samantha Peluffo and Melendez scored on the hit leading to a 5-0 lead.
After Orange Coast made it interesting by bring the score to 5-2 after the top half of the sixth inning, Riverside worked to plate six runs in the bottom half to seal the deal. Williams scored on a throwing error by the catcher after she swiped second base. Lopez followed a pitch later by blasting a solo shot to left field for her sixth round-tripper of the year to highlight the frame leading to an 11-2 win.
Fitch (9-4) earned the win after chucking six innings while allowing two runs on four hits – only one run was earned. Furthermore, she fanned three batters and did not issue any walks.
Lopez went 2-for-3 with a solo homerun and two runs scored, while Williams pushed her hitting streak to eight games with a 2-for-4 day at the dish. In the past three games, she has barreled eight hits, scored five runs and driven in four runs
The Tigers (17-11, 6-7 OEC) will hit the road to face off against the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros on Saturday, March 30 in non-conference action at 2 p.m.