Lopez Paces Offense Leading to Series Sweep over Orange Coast

In the past three games, Danielle Lopez is 8-for-10 with two  homeruns, seven RBI and three runs scored. She went 2-for-4 with a two-run jack and a double in a victory over Orange Coast on Friday. (Photo by Bobby R. Hester)
In the past three games, Danielle Lopez is 8-for-10 with two homeruns, seven RBI and three runs scored. She went 2-for-4 with a two-run jack and a double in a victory over Orange Coast on Friday. (Photo by Bobby R. Hester)

The Riverside City College softball squad looked to sweep the season series against the Orange Coast College Pirates on the road Friday afternoon in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action. The Tigers dished out a consistent attack throughout the entire contest leading to a commanding 8-5 triumph.

The Tigers got off to a strong start by etching runs in the second and third innings. Sophomore second baseman Brianna Ceballos pushed across the first run with a little help from the Pirate's defense. She singled then advanced to third on a throwing error by the right fielder, allowing freshman catcher Alicia Rivera to touch home. Freshman center fielder Samantha Peluffo touched home after leading off the inning with a double, compliments of a RBI single to right field from freshman third baseman Danielle Lopez.

The offensive train continued to chug along as Riverside followed with a three spot in the fifth inning. Freshman right fielder Danielle Melendez lead off the frame with a bunt single and came around to score on a two-run jack from Lopez. Sophomore pitcher Lorena Fitch, who came in to pinch run for freshman designated player Zinada Preciado, came around to score on a wild pitch to grab a 5-0 lead.

Orange Coast scored their first run in the bottom half of the fifth inning, but Riverside axed any potential comeback with another three spot in the sixth inning. Peluffo kicked of the streak with an RBI single to the shortstop. She came around to score on an error by the Orange Coast third baseman shortly after. Sophomore shortstop Karter Williams capped the scoring with an RBI single to center field.

Despite the 8-1 advantage, Orange Coast plated four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Nevertheless, freshman closer Marissa-Lean Nares entered in the bottom of the seventh and retired the side in order to secure an 8-5 lead.

Fitch, who tossed four frames of scoreless softball, earned her 12th win of the season. Nares earned her second save of the season.

Lopez continued to cart a hot stick by going 2-for-4 with a two-run homerun leading to three RBI and one run scored. In the past three games, she has gone 8-for-10 with two bombs, seven RBI and three runs scored.

Peluffo led the Tigers with three hits leading to an RBI and two runs scored.

Riverside (22-13, 9-8 OEC) will continue conference action on Wednesday, April 17 against undefeated Cypress College at home at 2 p.m.