Allowing runs in every inning, the Monarchs found themselves in a deep hole early, but their offense cut into the deficit to end the game with a 20-5 loss.
By: Edward Segal, Valley Life Editor
In a game where everything that could go wrong for Valley College happened in the first three innings, the Monarchs picked up their scoring in the fourth, ending the blowout loss with a moral victory.
Through errors, dropped balls and wild pitches, Valley softball (2-7) looked disorderly through the first three innings of Thursday’s contest against Allan Hancock College (3-3). Before the mercy rule came into effect ending the game with a 20-5 score, the Monarchs made the result more respectable by scoring four runs in the fifth inning, showing themselves capable of rallying in late-game situations.
“From the get-go, we need to start off stronger,” said coach Andrea Contreras. “They just had a really bad start to the game and I think they needed to come together. They’re very capable [of generating offense].”
Valley pitcher Isabel Ward struggled through the first two innings. The righty allowed a two-run home run in the top of the first and could not finish the top of the second after letting the Bulldogs score twice more.
Ward finished with one strikeout, one walk, five hits and four runs in 1.2 innings.
Freshman pitcher Jessica Lopez was able to end the inning on a swinging strikeout, but the Bulldogs tacked on three more runs, making the score 7-0.
Rotating pitchers did not help Valley. After giving up nine more runs in the third and fourth, the Monarchs found themselves trailing by 16, but would not go down without a fight.
Allan Hancock chanted all afternoon long, yelling, “we load the bases” and “good eye,” while in Valley’s dugout, fans could hear a pin drop. But that was about to change.
Freshman infielder Citlali Mendez hit a line drive single into left field, giving Valley the boost they needed. Freshman infielder Téa Carbajal was then walked to place runners on first and second.
One out later, infielder Katelyn Santisteban hit an RBI single into right-center, giving the Monarchs their first run of the game. Down by more than ten runs, Valley could have used the “mercy” rule to end the game, but Contreras decided to play one more inning.
After giving up four runs in the top of the fifth, Valley’s bats took charge with nothing to lose.
To start the bottom of the fifth, catcher Isabel Flores walked and stole two bases on a wild pitch. Allan Hancock picked up an out, but walked center fielder Elizabeth Flores.
The Bulldogs started making mistakes late in the game. Mendez hit the ball into left field and a wild throw to first allowed Isabel Flores to score and Elizabeth Flores to advance to third.
Leftfielder Tèa Carbajal rocketed an RBI single to third as another wild throw to first let the Monarchs pick up the corner bases, but Mendez was not satisfied with third.
When the right-handed infielder headed home, the Bulldogs threw the ball to their catcher while Mendez still had a dozen feet to go. Expecting the easy tag out, the catcher dropped the ball, gifting Valley its fourth run as the Monarchs celebrated in the dugout.
“Mentally, I need to start something up since
we were down,” said Mendez. “I thought if we hit at least once it would be better. If we get one [run] down all of us will start rallying.”
Infielder Melissa Orozco tripled to drive in one final run for good measure.
The Monarchs accepted their 20-5 defeat gracefully, finishing Thursday’s affair by scoring five runs for the third time this season.
Valley’s next game is Monday, when the Monarchs will host Rio Hondo College at 2:30 p.m.