Softball Plates Four Unanswered in Comeback Victory

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

The Tigers faced a three-run deficit entering into the top of the sixth inning in an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) contest against the Santa Ana College Dons on Friday afternoon. However, a resilient offensive attack rose to the surface in the final two innings of the contest as Riverside scored four unanswered runs leading to a 5-4 victory.

The Dons jumped out to an early three-run lead after the opening frame to put the Tigers in a deep hole. They worked to trim the deficit to two-runs in the top of the third inning as sophomore first baseman Jocelyn Ontiveros barreled a single to center field, scoring sophomore third baseman Danielle Lopez.

The bats fell silent once again for the Tigers in the following two frames while Santa Ana etched yet another run in the bottom of the fourth. Nevertheless, a sudden spark of offense put RCC in a great position to win.

The Tigers continued to chip away starting in the top of the sixth inning as sophomore second baseman Breanna Ceballos blasted a solo jack to center field to bring the score to 4-2.

Riverside entered into the top of the seventh inning with their backs against the wall and they came out swinging. Freshman designated player Zinaida Preciado put the ball in play to force an error on the third baseman, scoring freshman shortstop Karter Williams, who also reach on an error.

The error bug continued to infest the Dons defense as freshman catcher Alicia Rivera reached on the third error of the inning, allowing pinch runner Lorena Fitch to cross home. The Tigers later took the lead off an infield single from sophomore pinch hitter Anna Loreto, scoring Ontiveros, to grab a 5-4 advantage.

After scoring the tying run of the game, Fitch was called upon to close out the contest.  She found herself in a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the inning, but was able to record a ground out to Williams leading to a 5-4 win.

Freshman reliever Brianna Arroyo entered into the circle in the second inning and minimized damage to earn her third win of the season. She allowed one run off five hits. Fitch earned her first save of the season.

Ontiveros and Ceballos recorded a team-high two hits with Ceballos leaving the yard for the second time this season. They each drove in one run as well.

The Tigers (12-9, 3-5 OEC) will continue conference action on the road on Monday, March 18 against the Santiago Canyon College Hawks. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.