Oh Mercy: Softball Wiping Out Competition

Lancer Olivia Nanez swings at a pitch in a recent game, photo by Richard Quinton.
Lancer Olivia Nanez swings at a pitch in a recent game, photo by Richard Quinton.

The only thing stopping the Pasadena City College softball team of late is the game-winning margin limitations. The Lancers clinched each of their last four games before the regulation seventh inning, in routing host Orange Coast College, 9-1 (in six innings), and San Diego Mesa, 10-1, in five innings on Saturday.

During the week that was, PCC (12-6 overall) recorded four mercy-rule wins and outscored their opponents by a lopsided, 38-2. In a contest between two teams tied for No. 8 in the SoCal Region, the Lancers scored runs each of the second through sixth innings in a relatively easy win over the Pirates, who entered the game with an 11-2 overall record.

While OCC made seven errors, PCC rightfielder Olivia Nanez batted 2-for-4 with a double and second baseman Danielle Ruiz was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, a double and one RBI. Leftfielder Gabi Perez scored three runs without benefit of a hit while stealing three bases.

The offense was hardly needed due to the shut-down pitching of Austyn Helmuth (4-3 record), who threw a 6-inning, 5-hitter, allowing only an unearned run with three strikeouts. In her last 10 appearances going back to Feb. 8, the freshman righthander has allowed just three earned runs in 39-2/3 innings for a miniscule 0.53 ERA.

In the second game v. SD Mesa, a successful 13-6 squad, it was Britney Lopez (2-2) who was looking for another no-hitter as she went out into the fourth inning before giving up her first hit after nine straight innings not allowing one. She finished with a 5-inning, 2-hitter, and three Ks. The Lancers struck for seven runs in the third inning, including a RBI double by Perez (2-for-3). In the second inning, Perez ripped a triple and was brought in by designated player Shynia Torrez's RBI single. Ruiz was 1-for-1 with two walks and two RBI. 

While the team batting average at .302, the PCC pitching staff lowered its team ERA to under 2 at 1.93. PCC moved up to No. 6 in SoCal in region RPI.

On Tuesday, Mar. 12, Coach Monica Tantlinger's Lancers travel to face Compton College in a South Coast Conference 3 p.m. first pitch.