By Javier Cabrera
By Javier Cabrera
The RCC Tigers overcame the odds and pulled off a late run in the seventh inning to beat No. 2 Fullerton during a three game series.
The Tigers came into the series on May 10 down 1-0 against the Fullerton Hornets as they lost a close 1-0 in Game 1.
The Tigers took Game 2 with a 2-0 victory with little effort from Fullerton to try to make it a game.
The game of the day came in Game 3 when both teams were fighting for their lives knowing that every pitch, every inning and every hit could be a game deciding play.
The tigers scored first in the second inning with a pop up fly ball by Jackie Serna.
In the third inning, Fullerton came back to tie the game on a double, then took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning on a well executed bunt.
The Tigers kept their composure including Corey Williams, who was jammed into a one out two on first and second down 2-1, but as all the momentum was for Fullerton, Williams got out of the inning safe as the batter drove a line drive toward her then threw it towards third base to complete the double play.
“I know I don’t have to be perfect on my pitches, if I make a mistake, usually they are there to pick me up,” said Williams.
“Olivia has done such a great job at third base,” she said. “I know she had a couple of double plays in the series and my defense does great…because I know they will be there.”
In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers had their last chance to win the game.
As coach Michelle Daddona-Moya put it best, it’s good to be the home team because it gives you the last chance to win the game as the Tigers would take full advantage of it.
As the leadoff hitter, Williams blasted a single to get onto base.
“I just thought I would shorten my swing and get on because I knew if I got on…then I knew after Afton got on she would be able to do it,” said Williams.
With a pitch runner replacing Williams, Afton Williamson was next up to bat as she hit a ground ruled double that has runners on second and third with no outs.
“I did feel pressure, but I knew we were going to pull through, I knew we deserved it,” said WIlliamson. “I knew we had the preparation, so I knew we were going to be okay.”
With Alesia Azevedo and Charline Torres at second and third pitch running, Rikki Scates connected with a single that brought Azevedo home to tie the game, leaving Torres 60 feet away from giving the Tigers the right to go to the championship game.
As Sonya Urteaga battled with the pitcher trying to get her pitch, and Fullerton on their heels shaking, Urteaga fouled out 13 pitches before hitting a single that brought home Torres and gave the Tigers a 3-2 victory.
Torres, who had gotten injured the week before in practice, still had high spirits as she cheered on her team all game but never expected to be the one who would be bringing in the game winning run.
“It was exciting, I had a lot of emotions going on, I was scared, nervous, but I knew we had zero outs, and every time we get the first batter on I know we are going to score so it was a really good feeling,” said Torres. “It was unbelievable.”
“I had a lot of things in my head…but I knew we were going to hit and score so it felt very good to be that winning run,” she said.
The next opponents for the Tigers are the Siskiyous Eagles from northern California, who are the overall No. 1 ranked team in California with an overall record of 45-3, season record of 20-0 and a current playoff record of 4-0.
“They have a great record, and we are going to respect them for that, but we have done some scouting on them and the final eight teams in the final state championship, they have played one of them. We have played all but two of the teams so I feel we are really prepared for the competition we are going to see,” said coach Daddona-Moya.
The team feels the same as their coach saying they have a lot of confidence and believe that the two series against Palomar and Fullerton has helped them a lot in preperation.
Starting pitcher for the Tigers against Siskiyous will be Corey Williams who has a record of 9-5. She says she will be a bit nervous in the beginning but once she has a couple of innings under her, she will be do fine.
“I really think we have a real shot at beating them, they haven’t played the calibur team that we have played,” said Williams.
“They only played three southern teams, and usually southern teams dominate northern teams and they haven’t played the No. 2 northern team Sac-City and I’m not really worried about them because they really haven’t played anyone,” she said.