The softball rivalry between South Coast Conference North Division opponents Pasadena City College and East Los Angeles continues to be heated with many close games over the last several years. But going back to 2015, the Lancers have held the upper hand. On Tuesday at Robinson Park, PCC extended its winning streak against Huskies' teams to seven straight and won for the 10th time in their last 11 meetings by a typically close 5-4 count.
PCC trailed 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, but rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to finally take the lead. Olivia Nanez reached on an infield single to third that scored Valley Febles for the tying run, then Nathalia Velasquez grounded to short scoring Samantha Diaz with the go-ahead score. Shynia Torrez also drove in a run on a groundout for what turned to be the decisive RBI.
The Lancers improved to 3-1 in SCC play and 4-3 overall. Despite leading off the game with a home run by Julie Granadeno, the Huskies remain winless in 2019 at 0-6 overall and 0-2 in conference. The two programs have played four 1-run decisions and three 2-run deciders in the past four years.
In the opening two innings, PCC used its speed and strategic baserunning to score a run in each frame. In the first, the Lancers put runners on first and third, then performed a delayed double steal as Leilani Montanez slowed up on her way to second base that forced a throw by the ELAC catcher to second. While Montanez easily took second, Diaz bolted home for the score.
In the second, Gabi Perez lined a double to left-center. She stole third despite the catcher's throw beating her to the bag, but Perez used some nifty dance moves to slither under the tag by the third baseman. Jennie Chacon then ripped a RBI single to center that tied that game at 2-2.
Pasadena reliever Austyn Helmuth picked up her first collegiate victory as she hurled four innings, allowing three hits and one earned run.
"It was a great team win today," PCC head coach Monica Tantlinger said. "We didn't have our best offensive power, but our speed on the basepaths and heads up running caused some chaos for the other team, leading to some runs. Austyn got big for us in the circle we earned a win against a gritty East LA team."
PCC hosts Rio Hondo College on Thursday, Feb. 21 in a 2:30 p.m. first pitch at Robinson Park.