The Hornets displayed a strong defense against the Southwestern College Jaguars in their 2020 Season home – opener with sophomore, Jessica Lopez striking out eight Jaguar batters. Despite the stellar pitching performance, the combination of critical defensive mistakes by Hornets position players with an extra Jaguar baserunner at the start of the 8th inning allowed Southwestern to win.
“I felt pretty good coming out for my team,” stated Lopez. “I wanted to control what I can control on the defense and keep their runs down the best that I could.”
Both teams showed competed with much effort throughout the game. The entire game was a pitchers’ duel from the start.
Jaguars sophomore pitcher, Jaqueline Kamery pitched the entire game, keeping the Hornets scoreless while working out of jams in the 7th and 8th inning.
Jaguars Head Coach Yasmin Mossadeghi was pleased about the performance of her defensive players. The Jaguars lost in extra innings to El Camino College last week and learned from the mistakes of last week’s game.
“The girls had already been in this situation,” said Mossadeghi. “The defense really stepped up and shut the door on them.”
At the top of the 8th inning, the International Tie-Breaker Rule took effect for the extra innings of play. According to the International Tie-Breaker Rule, the team batting puts a baserunner at second to start each extra inning of play.
Jaguars freshman, Lonna Upham, was the baserunner at second in the 8th inning who advanced to 3rd base and scored the go-ahead run after a throwing error from Hornets freshman third baseman, Natalie Gonzalez.
The Hornets weren’t so quick to muster an offensive rally in the bottom of the 8th.
Despite having sophomore, Emily Muro as the extra baserunner, she only advanced to third after a sacrifice bunt from freshman, Melanie Medina. She was left stranded on third after three consecutive groundouts from the next Hornet batters.
Hornets Head Coach Speedy Mendoza thought the Jaguars baserunner at second base in the 8th inning gave Southwestern the competitive advantage in extra innings and that the Hornets missed many offensive opportunities early on in the game.
“It’s all about who’s going to hit the ball at the right time,” insisted Mendoza. “[We’re looking forward to] being a better hitting team and making some adjustments defensively.”
The Hornets are defending their 5th in State title going into the 2020 season. According to Mendoza, if the Hornets expect to improve this season, the players are going to have to approach future games with a more humble mentality and not underestimate their opponent’s capabilities.
The Hornets will next face the Mount San Antonio College Mounties on Friday, Jan. 31 at home. The first pitch is at 3 p.m.