Softball Upsets No. 12 Long Beach in Season Opener

Photo by Sarah Uribe
Photo by Sarah Uribe

The Riverside City College softball team won 12 games last season in an uncharacteristic year. They looked to kick off the season on a high note by facing the No. 12 Long Beach City College Vikings at home in non-conference action. Riverside scored all of their runs in the second and third innings highlighted by a two-run blast from sophomore second baseman Sarah Franco-Colis leading to a 5-4 win.

Freshman southpaw Chloe Lockhart took the rubber to make her collegiate debut. She got off to a strong start by retiring the side in order featuring two punch outs. She followed by working out of a second-inning jam after freshman catcher Cassidy Cooper fielded a wild pitch off the backstop to tag out a potential base stealer at home.

Sa. Franco-Colis got the Tigers on the board in the second inning by launching a two-run blast over the right-center wall in her first at bat of the season, providing her squad an early two-run cushion. She continued her hot start at the dish the following frame by connecting for a two-out single to left center field, plating freshman center fielder Brooklyn Corns.

"Today, I just had the goal of clearing my mind before I get to the plate and bringing what I do in practice into the game," said Sa. Franco-Colis. "Also, smiling was a big goal for me and it definitely paid off."

Her two-run round tripper sparked an offense that was seen as nonexistent at times last season.

"I think people don't really expect me to hit home runs, but it was a good feeling knowing that we scored first early on in the game."

Sophomore duo Alicia Fitzgerald and Sophia Franco-Colis followed with consecutive two-out RBI singles to hand Riverside a 5-0 lead after three innings.

Lockhart continued to battle in the following three innings, but she was tagged with four runs featuring a solo jack from the Vikings. Despite the shaky latter half performance, she worked a one-two-three inning in the seventh to secure a one-run victory.

"Chloe is a very positive person in general," said Sa. Franco-Solis when asked about Lockhart's performance. "We had her back today"

Lockhart (1-0) went the distance and fanned three batters while giving up six hits. She threw 94 pitches with 56 of them acting as strikes. Offensively, she scored twice and recorded the first Tiger hit of the season.

Sa. Franco-Colis inked a 2-for-3 day at the dish with a two-run homerun and an RBI single. Fitzgerald barreled two hits and one RBI.