Pica Time: Softball Pitcher A Big Relief For Lancers

Pica Madrid is PCC's wins leader in 2016 and 2017, photo by Richard Quinton.
Pica Madrid is PCC's wins leader in 2016 and 2017, photo by Richard Quinton.

Although primarily utilized as a starter as a freshman, sophomore pitcher Pica Madrid has turned into an all-everything hurler for the Lancers in 2017. She has frequently been the first reliever turned to by head coach Monica Tantlinger. On Tuesday, Madrid was again called on early in the game and her pitching led the Lancers to a 6-4, South Coast Conference North Division victory at Chaffey.

Madrid relieved starter Angel Wintercorn in a 2-2 game to start the third inning. She proceeded to retire the first 12 batters she faced as PCC took a 6-2 lead. In the seventh, an error and two hits allowed Chaffey to score two unearned runs. With runners on second and third, Madrid, however, closed out her team-leading 12th win with a perfect timing for her only strikeout of the contest.

In 10 relief appearances by Madrid, the Lancers are 9-1 in those games with the hurler recording six wins and three saves. The only loss was not on Madrid, who threw six strong relief innings to shut down a potent Mt. San Antonio offense to three runs in an 8-0 loss on April 4. Overall, Madrid has a 12-5 record with a 2.60 ERA in 99.2 innings. 

For the sixth time this season, PCC has put together at least a 3-game winning streak as it upped its sparkling overall record to 24-10-1 and 8-2 in second place in the SCC North. Shortstop Karina Moreno ripped two triples against Chaffey while centerfielder Angel Urbina hit a key, 2-RBI triple to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning. 

"Pica has changed the way the team competes," Tantlinger said. "She always gives us a chance to win. She spins the ball like no one else I have seen at this level, truly. But what makes her special is her heart and determination. Pica would go through a wall if she knew it would help her team win. Her teammates love playing behind her. We, as a coaching staff, love getting her the ball."

PCC plays a non-conference game at Southwestern College on Wednesday, April 19 before traveling to face conference first-place Mt. SAC on Thursday, April 20 (5 p.m. start).