Pasadena City College softball team head coach Monica Tantlinger wants her Lancers to create offense any way it can. On Tuesday, PCC blanked host Rio Hondo, 6-0, taking advantage of sloppy Roadrunners defense while pushing across runs thanks to aggressive baserunning.
In the second inning with a runner on third and two outs, designated player Alise Allen hustled down the line on a muffed grounder to Rio Hondo's first baseman Aspen Gonzalez, and was ruled safe on a missed swiped tag, scoring second baseman Danielle Ruiz for PCC's first run. After Allen stole second, catcher Jennie Chacon singled up the middle, bringing in Allen for a 2-0 lead.
The Ruiz-Allen connection worked some more small ball in the fourth. After Ruiz reached on an error, she moved to third on a groundout to the pitcher by centerfielder Gabi Perez. Allen squeeze bunted on the next play but pitcher Madeline Peralta's toss home was too late with Ruiz sliding in for a 3-0 lead. Allen stole second, advanced to third on a lineout to right by Chacon, then scored on an infield hit to second by first baseman Valley Febles. Febles stole second and she came around on a RBI single up the middle by third baseman Samantha Diaz. By inning's end, PCC had built a comfortable 5-0 advantage.
Overall, PCC stole six bases, two each by Allen and Febles. Diaz was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Febles 2-for-3. Febles, Allen and Ruiz scored two runs each. Lancer sophomore hurler Britney Lopez pitched six innings, allowing just two hits with four walks and three strikeouts to earn her fourth win. Vivian Little completed the team shutout with a scoreless seventh.
The Lancers improved to 15-9 overall and 9-5 in the South Coast Conference North Division.
On Saturday, PCC split two games at Bakersfield College. In the opener, the Lancers pounded the host Renegades, 9-1, in six innings. PCC led only 2-1 through five frames, but scored seven in the sixth to put the game away. PCC's speed came through again with 12 steals, two each by shortstop Kaylee Medrano, Diaz, Febles, Allen, and Perez. Chacon was 2-for-3 with a triple, Medrano 2-for-2 with a double and a walk, and leftfielder Nathalia Velasquez 2-for-4 with a double.
Austyn Helmuth (5-4 record) fired a complete-game, 5-hitter with no walks, one hit batter and four strikeouts.
In the second game against neutral opponent Riverside City College, the Lancers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers scored five in the second and six in the sixth to stun PCC, 11-3. Medrano's big weekend continued as she batted 3-for-3 with her second home run of the season in the first inning (and two RBI). Velasquez went 2-for-4 and Diaz hit a double. RCC received home runs by Jocelyn Ontiveros and Breanna Ceballos.
PCC suffered conference road defeats at Cerritos, 4-3 (March 14) and then at El Camino, 5-2 (March 19). Ruiz was 2-for-3 against Cerritos while Olivia Nanez had a RBI double in the ECC loss.
Medrano, who batted 6-for-7 last week and was 1-for-2 with a walk v. Rio Hondo, now leads the Lancers in batting average (.388), on-base percentage (.542) and slugging percentage (.592). Diaz leads the team in stolen bases with 18 and Velasquez paces the squad in RBI (17). Medrano, Chacon (.372) and Diaz (.371) have been consistent hitters in Tantlinger's regular lineup. Helmuth (1.95 ERA), Little (6-1 record), and Lopez have all shared the innings in a balanced pitching staff.
PCC hosts a key SCC North game today (Wednesday, March 27) against Chaffey College (15-10, 8-4 in SCC) at Robinson Park. Game time is 3 p.m. On Feb. 26, the two teams went extra innings as Chacon ripped a game-winning double in the eighth for a 4-3 Lancers win.