With two strikes and the tension mounting in the bottom of the seventh, Amanda Flores waited for her pitch before snapping a swing and driving a walk-off single to short left field for a win that puts the Lancers one spot outside the top ten teams in southern California.
In a thrilling game at Robinson Park on Tuesday, PCC’s softball team couldn’t help but feel defeated after they witnessed a 3-0 lead slip out of their fingertips as a result of a sixth inning home run over left field by El Camino College..
Spirits were low on the field as head coach Monica Tantlinger strolled to the circle to meet the starting pitcher, Angel Wintercorn.
“I told Angel, look, just get through this inning and we’re gonna win it for you in the bottom of the seventh”.
“Yeah, I felt pretty defeated after that,” said Wintercorn, reflecting on the homer however, “after (meeting at the mound) it was like, okay, we got this, we just have to keep it up and get through,” Which is exactly what they did.
The Lancers wasted no time picking the energy back up and were able to hold back El Camino from scoring the rest of the game with the help of an impressively caught ball in foul territory against the fence in the sixth and several well caught frozen ropes by the strategically placed third baseman Angelica Lopez at the top of the seventh.
“Yeah we practice that way, coach hits me line-drives and I practice specifically so I am ready for times like those,” Lopez mentioned when asked how she is able to handle fielding at the hot corner. That wasn’t the last time in the game her ability to handle herself in a fast-paced moment made a difference.
During the top of the 7th, PCCs Kaylee Medrano was hit by a pitch putting her on first and her older sister, Jeneve Medrano, laid down her second sacrifice bunt of the game allowing Kaylee to advance to second. Next, El Camino gave PCC’s Briana Hernandez an intentional walk, lighting a fire under Lopez as she approached the box from the on deck circle.
“They did that (intentionally walking Hernandez) and it kind of got me motivated, I don’t know but when there is a fast pitcher like (El Camino’s) I like it, it’s almost easier for me to make contact with the ball, It’s better for me”.
She did make contact, a line-drive that loaded the bases for Amanda Flores to hit the single which brought Kaylee Medrano to home plate for the win.
“If you’re talking about a well rounded athlete, that performs under any circumstance, just keeps going and you can count on, that’s Angelica,” said Tantlinger speaks on how instrumental Lopez was during the game in handling those fast paced moments.
PCC took the lead in the fourth via a sacrifice fly by Flores A 2-RBI double by Nat Velasquez, who hit the ball solidly three times, helping the Lancers to a 3-0 lead, before the homer from Kassidy Robinson tied things up again.
“I’ve never hit a walk off single on any level,” said Flores.
Another athlete who stood out during this game, and has seen a lot a play time lately as a result of her performance is Wintercorn. The Lancer ace battled through seven innings allowing allowed eight hits, but striking out five.
Overall, it was the teamwork, athletic stamina, talented athletes, and excellent third base coaching by Tantlinger allowed for this exciting, and well deserved victory. The Lancers return home to face Rio Hondo on Tuesday March 27 at 2:30 p.m.
Sports Editor Robert Hollar contributed to this report