By Peter Gibbs
There were plenty of runs on the scoreboard at the Evans Sports Complex for Riverside City College’s softball team on Feb. 11 in a 13-7 slugfest win against Allan Hancock College.
RCC came out stronger in its second back to back game following a loss the previous day.
Sophomore pitcher Chloe Lockhart started for a second consecutive day and began the game with three scoreless innings while the offense exploded for ten runs in that time.
Most of the scoring came in the second inning when Riverside put up eight runs on eight hits, knocking out the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs.
The Tigers totaled five extra base hits in the frame, the biggest being a three-run home run by sophomore first baseman Alicia Fitzgerald.
“I was trusting myself to stay down and through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had been pulling off.”
After scoring eight in the second inning, RCC scored two more runs in the third to push the lead to ten.
“We really prepped well, talked about what we were going to see,” said head coach Michele Dadonna, who is in her 24th year of coaching RCC softball. “We had to stick with our plan, we have to work our counts and be aggressive on what we’re looking for.”
However, Allan Hancock College would fight back in the fourth by getting numerous runners on base and scoring after multiple errors from the Tigers, cutting the lead to five runs.
Riverside ended the day with seven errors.
“We can clean up a lot, thankfully the offense showed up today,” Dadonna said. “Getting to the ball, working low to high.”
The Bulldogs eventually knocked Lockhart out of the game in the fifth even though the lead was still five runs.
“It’s tough to go back to back, that was a lot of innings,” Dadonna said. “It wasn’t necessarily anything she was doing, but we needed a change of pace to keep ourselves ahead.”
It felt as if Allan Hancock would claw its way back into the game when they scored multiple runs off of sophomore reliever Ereka Gibbs.
Fortunately for the Tigers, freshman left fielder Giuliana Danovaro helped stop the Bulldogs’ rally by making an over-the-shoulder grab at the wall in the sixth inning.
“We do a lot of daily drills before our games,” Danovaro said. “A lot of times when I’m out there I try to remember to tuck my glove and run and reading the ball.”
That catch flipped momentum and RCC loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth. The Tigers ended up scoring three runs.
Riverside handled the Bulldogs in the seventh to win 13-7.
“We can take it all the way. We’re a great team” Danovaro said about the team’s expectations. “We have great focus and great potential.”
The Tigers are now 2-5 on the year. They are on the road until Feb. 22 when they play Santa Ana.