Softball Closes Improved 2013 Season On High Note
The Pasadena City College women's softball team finished the 2013 season in style as the Lancers mercied Los Angeles Harbor, 10-0, in the South Coast Conference finale for both teams. It was the 11th time this season that the Lancers defeated an opponent in a game called early due to the 8-run rule.
Second-year head coach Brittany Williams improved the team's won-loss record from a year ago by six victories as the Lancers closed out the year at 15-25 overall and 7-14 in conference games. PCC finished in sixth place in the 8-team conference.
In the finale played at Robinson Park, the Lancers honored graduating sophomores in first baseman Natalie Ficocelli and outfielder Ashley Shaneberger in a pre-game ceremony.
Against Harbor, the Lancers put up six runs in the first inning to put the game away. Winning pitcher Cierra Newton tossed a 4-hit, 5-inning shutout and was perfect at the plate at 3-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Battery mate and catcher Allison Lacey was 2-for-3 also with three RBI. Third baseman Audrey Serna batted 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Leftfielder Jazmin Hernandez was 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs. Pinch hitter Porchia Jackson added a single.
In the second inning, Ficocelli was robbed of an extra-base hit on a running catch to the center-field fence by Harbor outfielder Precious Oliver. In her final Lancers' at-bat, the left-handed hitting Ficocelli again had a hit taken away when Harbor pitcher Erika Williams knocked down her liner up the middle and made the ensuing putout throw to first base.
Over the 40-game season, Serna was the team's batting leader with a .408 average and a Lancers' best .492 on-base percentage. Shortstop Katelyn Thordarson led PCC in at bats (120), runs scored (38), hits (47), triples (3), RBI (29), slugging percentage (.542), and fielding assists (78). Hernandez was the team leader doubles (7), in walks (19) and stolen bases (11). Serna, Hernandez and designated player/first baseman Sara Quintero tied for PCC's lead in home runs with two each. Ficocelli led the team in defensive putotuts (140) and fielding percentage (.986).
In the pitching circle, Newton led the team in wins (8), innings pitched (136.1), complete games (18) and tied Melissa Izumida in shutouts thrown with three each. Izumida, (7-8 record) who was lost early in conference play, led the team in ERA (3.70) and strikeouts (92 in 89 innings).
"We thought we could reach 20 wins with our talent, but we still made great strides to improve this season," Williams said. "We hit .306 as a team and that says a lot about our batters. We had five different regulars hit .325 or better. The big thing is that we did all of this with only a few sophomores. We may end up returning most of our starting lineup in 2014."
[Photo--Natalie Ficocelli (left) and Ashley Shaneberger (right) are seen here in action during their final PCC appearances during a 10-0 win over LA Harbor Thursday, image by Richard Quinton.]