The Riverside City College softball team was able to avoid the rain and hosted the Cerritos College Falcons in a non-conference showdown at Evans Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. In a tight game that saw the score gridlocked at one run apiece after the first frame, it was the Tigers who etched three unanswered runs on the scoreboard leading to a 4-1 victory.
Sophomore starter Lorena Fitch was granted the start in the circle and battled from the beginning. Despite allowing a run in the top of the second inning, she settled in down the stretch and provided the Tigers with a solid base for excellence. She held the Falcons to seven scattered hits leading to a pair of strikeouts. Her battery mate, freshman catcher Zinaida Preciado, was strong behind the dish by hosing one potential base runner to help wiggle the Tigers out of trouble.
Riverside manufactured the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning to grab the early advantage. Freshman center fielder Samantha Peluffo kicked the inning off with a bunt single and promptly stole second base. Freshman right fielder Savanna Fowlkes moved her over to third with a sacrifice bunt and sophomore shortstop Karter Williams knocked her in with a sacrifice fly out to left field to grab the lead.
After Cerritos tied the game at one apiece in the top of the second inning, Riverside responded with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. After Williams recorded a bunt single and stole second with two outs, sophomore designated player Maryjane Davila barreled a single through the left side, scoring Williams. Sophomore first baseman Jocelyn Ontiveros followed with a single to center field, plating sophomore third baseman Danielle Lopez who reached base via hit by pitch, to grab a 3-1 lead.
Ontiveros added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning by blasting a solo shot over the center field wall for her second homerun in the past two games. Freshman reliever Marissa-Lena Nares relieved Fitch of her pitching duties in the top of the seventh inning and slammed the door shut by retiring three batters in a row thus handing the Tigers a 4-1 win.
Fitch earns third win of the season after tossing six innings and fanning two batters. Nares earned the save after tossing one inning.
Ontiveros paced the offensive unit by going 2-for-3 with a single, homerun and two RBI. Peluffo followed with a 2-for-4 day with a run scored. Furthermore, Peluffo was a vacuum in center field by making two highlight reel diving plays on balls in each gap.
Riverside (5-2) will continue action against the Mt. San Antonio College Mounties on Sunday, February 17. The location of the game is to be determined pending field conditions and weather. Stay tuned to www.rccathletics.com for more information.