SOFTBALL: Fourth-inning rally leads Valley College to victory against Oxnard College.
By Mikayla Foss, Staff Writer
What started with a close first inning finished as an 8-2 romp for Valley College against the Oxnard College Condors this warm Tuesday afternoon at Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex.
“It was a phenomenal performance,” said Monarch Coach Frankie Garcia. “When you go out and don’t make any errors in this game, it makes a huge difference. It takes pressure off of the pitchers and our hitters, which is why we scored eight runs.”
Oxnard got away with two runs right off the bat, but was quickly shut down in every following inning with great pitching by freshman Angelique Ramos and a fast-acting defense.
A walk to second baseman Amanda Ramirez and a home run by third baseman Rebecca Lucero put Oxnard on the scoreboard.
In the bottom of the first inning, Lady Monarchs Nelly Sepulveda, Janaiya Sarsbury, and Vanessa Gonzalez helped take the lead after a base hit, a triple, and a home run.
With the score 3-2 Monarchs, Valley freshman Abigail Guillen started the bottom of the fourth inning off strong with a line drive to left field landing her on first base. She advanced to third after a ground out and a strike out. Then with two outs, the Monarchs rallied.
After a walk to freshman Anna Belle Guillen, a single to right field by freshman Sabrina Juarez scored Abigail Guillen.
The rally continued when Valley catcher Cristina Colon’s hard ground ball struck the foot of Oxnard pitcher Suzanne Silveira, loading the bases. Silveira was forced to move to first base, replaced on the mound by Lucero.
Guarding against overconfidence because of the unexpected pitching change, Monarch Assistant Coach Melissa Coombes yelled to her team, “Stay focused!”
With the bases loaded, Sepulveda hit a ground ball right by Silveira. As Silveira hobbled to the ball, Sepulveda made her way to second base with Colon and Juarez both scoring.
When the fourth finally ended, the Monarchs had a 7-2 lead.
Seven different players participated in the scoring, with loud cheers from the dugout throughout the entire game.
“These young ladies have the support that they need for each other, and have the confidence in each other,” said Garcia. “We of course want to create an environment that is conducive to that, however, it’s up to them to take it and implement it. They support each other tremendously.”
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Juraz’s single and Colon’s triple brought Juraz home for Valley’s final, six-run margin.
The Lady Monarchs won their second game in a row and third of their last four to bring their season record to 5-3.
“One of our goals as a program is to always, every single day, improve and chase perfection,” said Garcia. “We have improved tremendously. That’s how we get to a game where we only have one or two errors.”
Unfortunately, Valley College’s winning streak was short-lived as they lost 8-0 to Allan Hancock College this Friday at home.
Valley’s next home game will be against L.A. Mission College on Thursday, March 5 at 2:30 p.m.