Softball Opens 2013 Season With Rout Over Orange Coast, 17-5
With only one returning player from last season and one from two seasons ago, the 2013 Pasadena City College softball team comes into the new season with a youthful roster. But second-year PCC head coach Brittany Williams points out that her 14 freshman players are far more "game-experienced" than the Lancers of last season.
PCC showed off some of those skills Friday as it opened the '13 season with an offensive onslaught in blowing out Orange Coast College, 17-5, in the opening game of the College of the Desert "Best on Grass" Tournament.
The Lancers scored five runs in the first inning, propelled by a laser over the center-field fence for a 3-run homer by designated player Sara Quintero, then posted 11 runs in the third inning. The game was called after five innings due to the 8-run mercy rule.
PCC totaled 13 hits and took advantage of 12 walks by the Pirates' pitching. Quintero, an All-San Antonio League First Team selection while at South Hills High, went 2-for-3 in her college debut, driving in five runs.
Third baseman Katelyn Thordarson, an All-Olympic League performer out of Maranatha High, also had a huge Lancers' first game as she batted 3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored, and four RBI.
Returning sophomore first baseman Natalie Ficocelli (from Burbank Providence High) and second baseman Audrey Serna (All-Mission League player at Arroyo High) each went 2-for-4. Catcher Jazmin Hernandez (All-Alpha League First Team choice from Marshall Fundamental) reached base twice on walks and finished with three runs scored at the top of the PCC batting order.
Starting pitcher Melissa Izumida, another prep all-leaguer as just a freshman, making All-Mission Valley League while at Gabrielino High, was the beneficiary of the Lancers' hitting attack. Izumida allowed only two hits, but was wild with six walks and allowed two earned runs for the circle victory.
Playing shortstop for the Lancers was yet another all-league first team player in Allison Lacey, who played on three Pacific League champion teams at Crescenta Valley High. Lacey batted .515 in her senior season. Lacey is expected to share the shortstop position with Hernandez as both will do the same at catcher.
PCC's outfield is made up of Monica Enriquez, All-Northern League First Team selection from Eagle Rock High, in center field, sophomore Ashley Shaneberger (South Hills HS) in left field after returning from the 2011 Lancers, and Vanessa Contreras (Arroyo High) in right field.
Cierra Newton, an All-Alpha League First Team choice for two seasons at Marshall Fundamental, complements Izumida on PCC's pitching staff.
The Lancers' roster contains identical twins--Porchia Jackson and Zahra Jackson, both outfielders from Tesoro High, and second baseman Emily Cuiriz, an All-Eastern League First Team selection from Roosevelt High. Marilyn Ayala (Baldwin Park High) and Janel Chavira (Azusa High) are reserve outfielders.
"One of the biggest differences from this year and last season is we have a better hitting lineup," Williams said. "We have a more polished team with players who have extensive previous playing experience. As a coach, I feel I did a better job this year of preparation, and teaching fundamentals in practices. I came in last year and felt rushed to get a team on the field. This year's team also has more versatility as we have several players who can play a number of different defensive positions."
[Editor's Note: this release was updated 1/26 with new information on PCC v. Imperial Valley contest]
On Friday, the Lancers' second game v. Imperial Valley was suspended in the fifth inning (trailed 13-5) due to darkness, but the game was completed Saturday morning with PCC losing 18-8. As of Saturday afternoon, the Lancers were to face Sacramento City and then an opponent to be determined later in the day.
[Photo--Freshman Lancer Sara Quintero takes a mighty swing as she homers here in her first collegiate at bat during the first inning of PCC's win over Orange Coast Friday at College of the Desert, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]