By Vanessa Overbeck
By Vanessa Overbeck
Riverside Community College is performing the fastpitch version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Tigers were defeated by both the conference champion, Fullerton College, and the current conference leader, Cypress College, but a different team showed up to play at each of these match ups. RCC lost to the Hornets 7-1 on March 30 and the Chargers took home the win in a 2-0 ball game on April 1.
Fullerton College out hit the Tigers nearly two-to-one and they went through their lineup nearly a full time more than RCC, forcing them to reach deep into their bullpen. They threw three of their four pitchers against Fullerton College, but Nichole Reimer was the only one to hold the Hornets scoreless for more than an inning. Reimer pitched four innings and faced 14 hitters, but she allowed only four hits.
Alexandra Ariaz and Tiffanie Pittman completed three innings between them, each allowing five hits. Though both of the runs that scored during Pittman’s brief stint on the mound were earned, only one of the five Hornet runs should have scored against Ariaz.
The Hornets wasted no time scoring against the Tigers. They started the game with a base hit, advanced the runner to second with a sacrifice bunt and brought her home with another base hit into shallow left field. RCC managed to escape this inning giving up only the one earned run with a timely double play by third baseman Breann Mead.
Fullerton College was not going to be stopped so easily. They continued their domination at the plate in the fourth inning with a double, triple and a single hit back-to-back to bring their total to seven runs.
However, the Tigers racked up three more double plays against the Hornets. Second baseman Cassondra Hemsley was involved in all three and she even managed to prevent a run from scoring in the third inning with a quick throw to home plate on a caught pop fly.
However, catcher Arinn Godoy had an uncharacteristically bad game against the Hornets.
“This is probably the worst game I’ve ever played,” Godoy said. “Players have bad games and others have to pick them up. It shouldn’t rest on you. I felt today it did.”
Playing with an injured catching hand, she allowed two passed balls to advance runners into scoring position and a third to bring a run home. In the second inning the normally highly aware Godoy also allowed a runner to steal third base unchallenged. However, she did rescue her crumbling team from a four run scoring streak in the second inning by stopping an attempted steal.
After the loss to Fullerton College coach Michelle Daddona-Moya spoke to her team about being prepared to play before the end of the game.
“This is the same pitcher we faced last time, but the difference was that we weren’t ready to hit until the last inning,” Daddona-Moya said. “That’s too late.”
The Tigers left their Mr. Hyde personality behind with the loss to the Hornets and they brought their collective talents to bear against the conference leader.
In this two run ball game, Ariaz allowed the Chargers to earn only one earned run on six hits. However, she allowed almost one walk per inning, which placed added pressure on her defense. But the Tigers rose to the challenge, forcing the Chargers to leave seven runners on base.In fact, catcher Godoy earned all three outs in the first inning. She threw two runners out attempting to steal second base and a quick throw by Melissa Ascencio to the waiting Godoy left the Chargers scoreless in the first inning.
The Tiger outfielders also worked hard to keep this game close. In the second inning center fielder Shayln Skahill’s relay to Hemsley and into the infield to Godoy at the plate stopped a run from scoring. And left fielder Pittman’s aggressive pursuit of a base hit and strong throw to the plate prevented the Chargers from extending their lead in the fifth inning.However, only Ascencio and first baseman Shelley Roeder earned hits against the Charger pitcher. The Tigers had chances to score in the third and fifth innings but great defensive plays by the Chargers and tough pitching left them scoreless.
With eight games left in the season, the Tigers still have a chance to finish in the top three in the conference. They will have an opportunity to face the conference leaders again and the opportunity to improve their 2-8 record.
“We’re not out of the race, so you have to stay positive,” Daddona-Moya said.