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PCC Softball's Outlook Bright Despite Season-Opening Setbacks

PCC Softball's Outlook Bright Despite Season-Opening Setbacks image

Pasadena City College women's softball head coach Elaine Martinez begins her fourth season in charge knowing that her 2010 Lancers have more talent and depth than any of her previous three squads. Applying performance will likely take some time, though. That was evident as PCC opened the new season January 30 with a doubleheader loss to host Palomar College, 8-2 and 8-5.

The Lancers played the Comets close in game 1 as PCC cut it to 3-2 on Kristen Miranda's RBI single in the top of the sixth inning. Palomar would score five runs in the bottom of the frame, including a 3-run homer by Theresa Houle, to close out its win.

In game 2, PCC fell behind 4-1, but clawed back to tie it 5-5 in the fifth on a run-scoring basehit by Nancy Perales. Again, Palomar responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth thanks to first baseman Houle's third home run of the twinbill and four PCC walks allowed by PCC freshman pitchers Samantha Gontol and Jenna Martin.

Overall, PCC allowed an alarming 18 walks in the two games. Offensively, sophomore Lupita Contreras batted 4-for-6 (two hits in each contest), Perales hit 4-for-8, and returning All-South Coast Conference outfielder Marissa Rangel was 3-for-8. Sophomore Brianna Casillas slugged a solo home run in game 2.

The Lancers have blended returning players to a quality freshman class. Martinez's starting lineup thus far was made up of five returning 2009 starters, including first baseman Kimberly Garcia, second baseman Contreras, third baseman Amber Frame, centerfielder Rangel and leftfielder Casillas.

Freshmen cracking the PCC opening-day lineup were Tiffany Rubin, an All-CIF performer at Mark Keppel High, at shortstop, Baldwin Park High grad Kristen Miranda in right field, and Nancy Perales, a seasoned player from Chaffey High at catcher. Martin, from Village Christian High, and Gontol (West Covina) are expected to be a 1-2 rotation on the pitching staff. Frame, the team's top pitcher with 13 wins last year, and Garcia also could be in the pitching circle for the Lancers in situations.

The rest of PCC's roster is as follows: (all freshmen) outfielder Jennifer Blanco (Garfield High), second baseman Raquel Aguilera Perez (Glendale High via Clark Magnet), catcher Nichole Duran (Ramona Convent Secondary), outfielder Valentina Forero  (Burbank), catcher Ilene Suleymanyan (Glendale), outfielder Maycee Murphy (Rio Hondo Prep), and infielder Brittany Skoien (Glendale).

"We have the right combination of experience and new talent," Martinez said. "We faced a really strong Palomar program, but we saw some good things in the two games. We were close in both and we were able to generate offense, getting runners on base. The pitchers showed little plate control, but in their defense, they were nervous in their first collegiate performances. We're excited about our potential."

PCC plays two games today at Golden West College, facing San Diego Mesa at 4 p.m. and the host Rustlers at 6 p.m. The Lancers first South Coast Conference game is also their home opener when they play Cerritos College Tuesday, February 9, a 3 p.m. first pitch at Pasadena's Brookside Park diamond.

 [Photo--How talented is PCC two-sport athlete Marissa Rangel? On this play, Rangel, playing shallow in her regular position in center field, rushed in on a ground ball up the middle, stepped on second base to force out one runner, then fired the ball to first to complete a rare 8-8-3 double play in the Lancers' 8-5 loss at Palomar College Jan. 30, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 02/03/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu