Riverside Rolls Santa Barbara in Season Opener

Photo by Nicho DellaValle
Photo by Nicho DellaValle

The Riverside City College softball team kicked off its 2020 campaign on Tuesday afternoon as they played host to the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros in non-conference action. Riverside got to work early by snagging a two-run lead in the first inning and never looked back. A lethal combination of pitching and offense handed the Tigers an 8-0 win in five innings.

The Tigers walked into murky waters to begin the game as the Vaqueros loaded the bases with two outs in the opening frame. Despite the threat, sophomore hurler Marissa Lena-Nares wiggled out of the jam by striking out a batter to end the inning.

From then on, it was all Riverside.

The Tigers followed by plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning compliments of a two-RBI double from freshman first baseman Catherine Martinez, scoring sophomore center fielder Samantha Peluffo and freshman designated player Carrah Van Houten.

After Lena-Nares chucked up another zero in the top of the second, Martinez doubled down on her previous at-bat by squaring up her second double, this one coming in the bottom of the third inning, to left field, granting Riverside a 4-0 advantage.

Lena-Nares continued to cruise as she retired six of the seven batters she faced in the following two frames, which included three punch-outs.

A four-run bottom of the fourth inning by Riverside sealed the deal. Van Houten scored for the second time on an error by the Vaquero's shortstop. Freshman third baseman Anabelle Salas followed with a two-RBI double to right field, plating freshman shortstop Natalie Del Monte and Peluffo. Sophomore catcher Zinaida Preciado capped the scoring for Riverside by squaring up a single through the left side, scoring Martinez, thus leading to an 8-0 mercy-rule victory.

Six of the Tiger's nine starters recorded at least one hit with Martinez leading the offensive parade. She finished by going 2-for-3 with a pair of two baggers, four RBI and a run scored. Van Houton followed with a 2-for-2 day featuring two runs scored, while Peluffo barreld two hits and scored three times in the leadoff spot.

Lena-Nares (1-0) picked up her first win of the season after going the distance and striking out five.

Riverside (1-0) will return home on Thursday, January 30 to host the Chaffey College Panthers in non-conference action.