By Tadzio Garcia
In front of a large and energetic crowd, the ELAC softball team was defeated 6-0, on Thursday, by the ninth ranked team in the state, the Santa Ana Dons.
“We never gave up,” said freshman Janessa Martinez.
Conference play began this week when ELAC played at El Camino College yesterday. Results were not available at the time of this printing.
The game against Santa Ana drew a crowd of almost 100 largely due to the Boys and Girls Club Day at ELAC.
The West San Gabriel Valley Boys and Girls Club attended the game as part of their softball clinic. The clinic teaches softball basics while exposing the West San Gabriel Valley Boys and Girls Club to the college experience.
These 11-12 year olds were vocally involved in every pitch and every play until the final out, just like the Huskies softball team.
It is unusual to witness a crowd cheering on a team when they’re down 6-0 in the final inning, but not when it involves the West San Gabriel Valley Boys and Girls Club.
“We are here because it’s a good opportunity for us to see college players in a game so we can learn from them,” said Abigail Reyes, a student at Ramona Elementary School.
The ELAC vs. Santa Ana game did just that.
ELAC was only down 1-0 for two innings. The Dons where able to expand their lead in the top of the 4th inning.
Two base hits by the Dons were followed by a triple by Asia Alvarez. By the end of the inning ELAC was down, 3-0.
ELAC sent in freshman pitcher Janessa Martinez, to replace Miranda Chaidez.
Martinez began with striking out her first opponent to the crowd’s loud approval. Santa Ana got a hit which brought in another run. Down 4-0, ELAC eventually got out of the inning.
ELAC would continue to battle and rallies followed.
In the bottom of the 4th Rhea Cuglietta, an infield freshman, moved to first base on a single and was replaced by pinch-runner freshman Megan Magdaleno. Elizabeth Lopez, sophomore catcher, hit into a double-play to silence the crowd.
ELAC’s Monica Robles, an infield sophomore, walked to begin the Husky 5th inning rally.
Michelle Contreras, a freshman utility player, hammered a base hit resulting in two base runners on with nobody out.
After sophomore Monique Zevada, popped out, Jennifer Martinez was safe with a base hit.
The bases appeared to be loaded with one out, but a late controversial call by the umpire had Robles tagged out at third by Alvarez. The controversial call resulted in an extra out and one less base runner.
“I was frustrated because of the call but believed every moment we would rally” said Contreras.
The Huskies will play eight statewide ranked teams for the remaining season and should make some noise by playoff time.
“We are young but with experience we will be tougher down the road,” said Coach Erika Blanco. “We will win a lot of games and be a playoff team,” said Blanco.
The Lady Huskies began the season on a winning note.
They fought to a 2-1-1 record at the Glendale College Tournament January 28 and 29.
ELAC tied San Diego City 3-3, followed by victories over L.A. Pierce (12-0) and Chaffey (3-2) and a loss to Antelope Valley (11-3).
ELAC then won at Mt. San Jacinto College (9-0) and lost at College of the Canyons (4-3).
ELAC will host undefeated L.A. Harbor tomorrow at the softball field at 3p.m. and host 7th ranked Antelope Valley on Friday at 1p.m. in a non-conference game.