With the help from an energetic crowd and proving they are no underdogs, the 15 seed Hornets beat Long Beach City 4-1 at home in the Southern California Regional pay-in game on Tuesday May 1.
“Today was an amazing game, we had such a rough start in the beginning and to see where we have come now is amazing, just makes the game fun again,” said freshman Sabrina Anguiano.
Frustration consumed the Vikings as Fullerton proved to be too much to handle for LBCC. The Vikings played with their emotions on their sleeves and let the Hornets get under their skin early in the game with help from an intense home crowd.
“Dont let things distract you, stay focused and do what we came here to do,” said Head Coach Marian “Speedy” Mendoza to her team as they showcased they have what it takes mentally on the field and at bat to be a force to reckon with in playoffs.
Energy was high as the Hornets came out strong at the plate in the bottom of the first. A double to center field from freshman Kaylee Williamson turned into a triple as LBCC center fielder Emilee Hoppe had a hard time fielding the ball.
Third baseman Elexa Rangel followed with an RBI double to center, bringing in Williamson for a 1-0 lead after another fielding error by Hoppe.
Adding to the excitement, lefty Eryka Springer’s RBI double to left field allowed Rangel to cross home plate adding another run to the board, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead and forcing the Viking to call for time and regroup.
A ground out to second base by sophomore Vanessa Coronado lead to Fullerton scoring after a Vikings throwing error following a chaotic rundown.
With the strong first inning, the crowd roared as the team closed out the first frame with a 3-0 lead.
Continuing the momentum from the first inning, catcher Veronica Garza hit a triple to right field which was followed by a Williamson grounder leading to a fielder’s choice that brought in Garza to get them to a 4-0 lead.
“Bats were hot in the first couple innings,” said Mendoza. “Scoring first kept the energy and us up, knowing we had to play good defense.”
With a strong lead through the third and fourth innings, the Hornets defense continued to shine as defeat and frustration took over Vikings’ players. Clutch diving catches from second baseman Sabrina Anguiano and help from starting pitcher Natasha Trujillo kept Viking runs off the board for most of the game.
Pitching into the fifth inning, Trujillo was replaced by sophomore Shelby Boehmer after hitting LBCC’s Samantha Ontiveros and Alijah Vega in the top of the fifth.
“I did the best I could to hold them to zero runs, I went out there and played my game,” Trujillo said.
Hoping to make a comeback, LBCC’s Alissa Cienfuegos hit an RBI double to right-center allowing Vega to score a run for the Vikings putting their only run of the game on the board.
With Boehmer throwing fire on the mound for the last two innings, the Vikings could not overcome the Hornets strong defense ending the game in seven innings with a final score of 4-1.
“Every game is tough from here… we are going to come in with the same game plan: attack first, be aggressive at the plate, and play solid defense,” Mendoza said.
“We are just going to be bringing it to whoever we play next. They see us as underdogs, they see us as our ranking, and we are looking for someone to beat,” Anguiano said.
The Lady Hornets will play the No. 2 Mount San Antonio College away this Friday, May 4, at 3 p.m., for the first round of the Socal Regionals.