The Riverside City College softball team looked to sweep the season series against the Santa Ana College Dons by hosting them in their final meeting on Wednesday night under the lights at Evans Sports Complex. The ball rolled the Tigers way in every aspect of the contest as pitching, defense and offense shined leading to a 6-1 conference victory.
It was a crucial win for the Tigers as they find themselves a half game out of fourth place in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC). With four conference games remaining and the undefeated Cypress College Chargers looming in the distance, every win matters.
Three runs in the first three frames highlighted Riverside's offensive prowess. Freshman third baseman Danielle Lopez kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single to right field, plating freshman center fielder Samantha Peluffo. The Lopez – Peluffo combination remained intact in the bottom of the third inning as Lopez sent Peluffo home on her second RBI single of the contest. Freshman designated player Zinaida Preciado followed a batter later with an RBI single of her own, plating freshman right fielder Danielle Melendez to grab a 3-0 advantage.
Three runs was all sophomore starting pitcher Lorena Fitch needed as she tossed four quality innings while allowing just one run. She relied on an errorless defense behind her as well. Freshman reliever Brianna Arroyo entered in the fifth inning and walked her first batter, but settled in flawlessly and slammed the door leading to three strikeouts and her second save of the season
Riverside added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning highlighted by a bases-loaded single from sophomore first baseman Jocelyn Ontiveros to score sophomore shortstop Karter Williams and Melendez leading to a 6-1 victory.
Peluffo was a magnet to home plate by scoring three times and barreling two hits. Lopez went a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI, while Ontiveros followed with a 2-for-4 night leading to a pair of RBI.
Riverside will hit the road on Friday, April 12 against the Orange Coast College Pirates. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.