After the sun set on the opening seven frames, the lights flickered on and the day turned into night as the Riverside City College softball team and the Citrus College Owls entered into extra innings on Thursday night. It took 11 innings to decide a winner.
Sophomore first baseman Jocelyn Ontiveros dug into the batter's box in the bottom of the 11th inning with a runner on second base. She zoned in on a pitch over the heart of the plate and laced it into left center field, sending home freshman designated player Zinaida Preciado leading to a 6-5 victory.
Riverside lead for the majority of the contest after scoring five runs in the first four innings. They quickly came out of the gate and scored two in the first inning highlighted by an RBI single from Preciado. She was responsible for the second run of the inning by touching home on a passed ball.
Riverside remained hot in the bottom of the second inning compliments of sophomore third baseman Danielle Lopez lacing a two-RBI double to second base. Lopez added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning with a one out double to center field, plating freshman shortstop Karter Williams, leading to a four-run advantage.
However, Citrus worked to tie the contest up at five apiece after etching four runs of their own in the ensuing three frames, thus sending the game to extra innings.
Despite blowing a save opportunity, freshman reliever Brianna Arroyo remained poised in the circle and retired six-straight batters to keep the Tigers in the game. Sophomore pitcher Lorena Fitch started the game and re-entered in the 10th inning. She entered with one runner on and halted what looked like a brew rally from the Owls. She followed by retiring the side in order in the top of the 11th inning as well.
Williams kicked off the bottom of the 11th inning with a single, but was rung up at second base on a fielder choice off the bat of Preciado. However, Preciado advanced to second on a throwing error by the Citrus shortstop. She then came around to score on the game-winning double from Ontiveros.
Fitch (5-2) picked up the win after chucking seven innings and allowing three runs off eight hits.
Lopez paced the offense by going 3-for-6 with a double and three RBI. Williams and freshman second baseman Savanna Fowlkes each barreled two hits and combined for three runs scored. Fowlkes recorded four assists and five put outs in her first-career start at second base.
Riverside (7-8, 0-4 OEC) will continue Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action on Friday, March 1 against the Golden West College Rustlers at home at 2 p.m. Follow live stats at www.rccathletics.com