The Pasadena City College softball team closed out its regular season home schedule in style with a wlld, 13-5 win over Citrus in a game that ended in the sixth inning on shortstop Kaylee Medrano's walk-off, mercy rule double to right center field on Friday.
Ranked No. 10 in SoCal, the Lancers improved to 24-11 overall while Citrus dropped to .500 at 18-18. PCC jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, led 7-1 and threatened to mercy Citrus in the fifth. The Owls rallied to cut it to 7-5 with four runs in the sixth only to see PCC roar back with six runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.
PCC has won 10 of its last 12 games and finished the Robinson Park schedule at 11-2. In home games, the Lancers batted .358 (overall .320) and the pitching staff sparkled with a 1.31 ERA (2.81 overall). In fact, the Lancers posted six shutouts and three other games where they allowed the visitors only one run. At home, Pasadena outscored their opponents, 93-22, a differential per game of 7.1 runs scored to 1.7.
"It's a great feeling to able to play well in front of your fans," said PCC head coach Monica Tantlinger. "Our team takes pride in the ability to showcase the team we are with speed and clutch hits. I hope our home crowd enjoys it as much as we do because we are having a blast."
Olivia Nanez keyed the sixth-inning outburst by blasting her first collegiate home run, a 3-run drive over the left field fence. PCC bashed out 13 hits as second baseman Danielle Ruiz led the charge batting 3-for-4, centerfielder Gabi Perez was 2-for-2 with two doubles, and rightfielder Alise Allen was 2-for-4 with three RBI. First baseman Valley Febles was 1-for-2 with two walks.
Going 2-for-3, Medrano continued now a 20-game long hot streak that started on March 1 by hitting 2-for-3. Since that date, she is batting 28-for-55 (.509) with six doubles, a triple, three home runs, 12 walks, seven times hit by a pitch, and 25 RBI. Her on-base percentage in the stretch is an amazing .635 and slugging percentage at .818. The sophomore continues to lead the team in six offensive categories, including batting (.418), on-base (.555) and RBI (29).
Lancers ace Austyn Helmuth (9-6) got the victory, keeping the Citrus bats at bay for five innings before getting touched for five hits in the sixth. At that point, Britney Lopez came in stranded a runner by recording the final two outs, keeping the team's lead at two runs (7-5). Even though the Lancers would go on to win by a crooked number, Lopez earned her first save.
On Thursday, the Lancers ran their South Coast Conference record to 13-6 with an 8-0, 5-inning blanking of Rio Hondo on Sophomore Day at the Robinson diamond. Ruiz was 2-for-2 with a triple and two runs scored and letterman rightfielder Leilani Montanez was 2-for-3. Frosh starter Vivian Little moved to 7-1 in the circle by hurling four innings of 4-hit ball with seven strikeouts while Lopez closed that victory with a shutout inning in the fifth.
Pasadena still has five road games remaining in the regular season and will play at East Los Angeles College on Monday, April 15 in a 3 p.m. conference start.