Despite home field advantage, the Lancers’ softball team (12-23, 4-14) lost their fourth consecutive game Thursday, 16-4, against visiting Long Beach City College (19-16, 9-9).
After allowing three runs in the opening inning, the Lancers took a short-lived lead in the bottom of the second inning on a single by sophomore first baseman Audrey Serna. Serna’s single to centerfield gave the Lancers the momentary lead at 4-3 heading in to the third inning.
“Our pitchers did not throw well,” head coach Monica Tantlinger said. “We had 17 hits, seven walks, and four hit-by-pitches. When you give up that much to an opponent, chances are they’re going to score 16 runs.”
Tied 4-4, the Lancers fell apart in the fourth inning as freshman pitcher Breanna Rodrigo allowed five runs.
“I told my team that sometimes you have to prepare mentally,” Tantlinger said. “There’s going to be certain games you learn from and certain games that you really just have to flush out and move on quickly.”
Although the score may not be indicative of team’s overall growth, freshman second basemen Justine Zavala admitted that the team is headed in the right direction and prepared for these final three games.
“We just have to stay focused,” Zavala said. “All we have to do is focus more and keep our energy up for the entire game.”
For the sophomores on this year’s team, finishing their final three games of the season on a winning note is most important.
“We just want to go all out,” sophomore pitcher Casey Ramirez said. “For some of us it’s our last year playing and it means a lot to us. We have to come out strong.”
With two of their remaining three games against conference leading East Los Angeles (26-8, 15-3) and conference foe Mt. SAC (29-7, 14-4), Tantlinger expects a difficult road ahead.
“We’re going to need our pitchers to step up and put us in a position to win the ball-game,” Tantlinger said. “We’ve played ELAC very well, and they’re tied for first right now. We’re going to have to come through with our bats. If our pitchers can bounce back from that loss against Long Beach and we can score some runs anything’s possible.”
The Lancers softball team will be back on the field today when they host Mt. SAC at Jackie Robinson Park. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.