The Riverside City College softball team and the Cypress College Chargers found themselves in a blow-for-blow battle on Wednesday afternoon in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action. With the score knotted up at four all in the bottom of the sixth inning, it was sophomore first baseman Jocelyn Ontiveros who put the team on her back and launched a go-ahead, solo homerun with one out in the inning eventually leading to a 5-4 victory.
The Tigers snapped Cypress' 17-game conference winning streak with the victory. It is the first time since 2014 that Riverside has defeated Cypress. Furthermore, Riverside never trailed in the contest.
Ontiveros has been a two-year staple for Riverside in the middle of the lineup. Tonight, she further proved her value with one of the most clutch at-bats of her career. It was her fifth homerun of the season and her 27th RBI of the year, which ranks fifth on the team.
The long ball was infectious as the Tigers scored all of their runs via round trippers. Sophomore third baseman Danielle Lopez barreled a two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning to set the tone. Cypress tied the game up at two all the following half inning, but freshman catcher Alicia Rivera flexed her power in the following frame with a two-run blast of her own.
Riverside had a poor showing on defense with our errors, but the pitching staff handled the shaky defense with clutch moments and poise. Freshman Marissa-Lena Nares earned the start and chucked three innings and allowed just one earned run.
Sophomore Lorena Fitch relieved her in the top of the fourth and performed well. She did not allow a single earned run. Freshman Brianna Arroyo came in and slammed the door after the Tigers grabbed the lead the previous inning. She faced the minimum three batters leading to her third save of the season.
Riverside (23-13, 10-8 OEC) will continue conference action on Friday, April 20 on the road against the Golden West College Rustlers at 2 p.m.