One area that was a concern last season for the Pasadena City College softball team was its lack of range in its outfield. Balls were falling in that probably wouldn't have with faster outfielders. So when head coach Monica Tantlinger recruited Angel Urbina (La Mirada High) to play center field for the Lancers, it was for good reason.
On Wednesday, Urbina flashed speed, leather, arm, and some offense as well as her defense in propelling the Lancers to defeat Long Beach City College, 2-1, at Robinson Park. PCC improved to 4-5 while the Vikings fell to 6-5.
Tied 0-0 in the fourth inning, Urbina made a diving catch on a liner hit by Alvia Soulliere for the second out. After a base hit, the next LBCC hitter Daisy Velasquez ripped a drive to deep center. Urbina went back and made a leaping grab near the fence for the third out that surely robbed a possible extra-base hit while preventing Long Beach from taking a lead.
Leading off the top of the fifth, Urbina then started a rally for PCC by lining a single to left center. A single down the third base line by leftfielder Jazmine Cabrera put runners on first and second. Urbina stole third and third baseman Brittany Ching followed with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Urbina for a 1-0 Lancers lead. Catcher and ninth batter Jeneve Medrano roped a base hit to center for a 2-0 advantage.
In the sixth, it was Urbina again as the "Secretary of Defense." With two outs and a runner at first, Soulliere singled and Urbina made an inning-ending throw to gun down Alijah Vega at third base on Ching's tag.
PCC's pitching came up big too as frosh starter Angel Wintercorn finally notched her first collegiate victory as she hurled six innings, allowing just five hits, walking none and striking out five. Her shutout bid ended in the seventh on a lead-off home run to left by Alissa Cienfuegos. Tantlinger brought in Pica Madrid to close and she did just that with three straight outs including a strikeout to pick up the save.
"So many positives from this win, but Angel's outfield plays were game changers," Tantlinger said. "The bottom of our order gave us our offense too. It's a team game, and it was from pitching to defense to baserunning to clutch at bats--a team win."
PCC plays at El Camino-Compton Center on Thursday, Feb. 23 in a 3 p.m. first pitch.