Originally written for publishing on April 20, 2013.
If only the OCC Pirates were on the schedule every week, this season would be going very different for Fullerton softball team. For the second time this season, the Fullerton College Hornets (9-27, 5-15 in OEC) shut out the Orange Coast Pirates to complete a three game season sweep.
The Hornet offense, which has struggled against other opponents, has had no such problems against Orange Coast, putting up an astounding 57 runs in the three games. The Hornets staked themselves an early lead in this one, putting six runs on the scoreboard in the second inning. But the offensive was capped by a 14-run fourth inning that saw the Hornets send 19 batters to the plate.
“We had the momentum and we took advantage of it,” said co-coach Marian Mendoza. “We had the mentality already of we beat them, we can do it again. We should be doing that with all the other teams. We’ve been seeing the same pitching with Golden West, with Santa Ana.”
The fourth inning was a calamity for the Orange Coast pirates as they were piling up errors instead of outs and walked six batters. Hornet left fielder Shaylynn Chapman put the exclamation point on the win by hammering a grand slam over the left field fence for the final four runs of the game.
“I always feel it when I hit it, it’s just a smooth hit and you know it’s going to go far,” said Chapman, who finished the game 3 for 3 with two walks, four runs scored and seven RBIs.
The other big bat for the Hornets was swung by the designated player Elizabeth Garcia. In both the second and the fourth innings she walked to the plate with the bases loaded and proceeded to clear them with triples. She had seven RBIs and scored three runs on each of her three hits.
“I haven’t been doing too good,” said Garcia. “I had to back off the plate a bit and try to keep my head in and swing better. I guess it was working for me today.”
Anchoring the strong offensive output was shutout pitching from starting pitcher Alyssa Felipe and reliever Shailee Boehmer. Boehmer closed out the last two innings facing only seven batters, striking out two and not allowing a hit. She even got to the plate three times in just the fourth inning, walking and scoring a run.
The Pirates wasted their chance to grab a lead in the top of the second inning. Holding onto a one run lead, Felipe walked the bases loaded with no outs. But as if to not give the Pirates any hope, Felipe struck out the next batter on a swinging 3-2 pitch. Then after a quick pop fly out, Hornet catcher Victoria Merida caught OCC’s centerfielder napping at third base and picked her off to end the inning.
“I could tell, in the dugout, the intensity and the connection that we had today, we were going to get them good,” said Felipe, who got the win, after getting tagged for losses in her last three appearances.
With only four games left in the regular season, the Hornets hope this momentum will carry over into some wins. Next up is a doubleheader at Bakersfield College on Saturday. They will be back at home Monday against El Camino with a 3 p.m. start time and finish up Wednesday against Riverside.