By Russell Zazueta
It wasn’t meant to be for East Los Angeles College starting pitcher Alashanee Medina and the ELAC softball team after Saddleback College ended their 2014 season this past Sunday with 4-3 loss.
The Huskies were eliminated in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association Southern Regional playoffs.
ELAC ended their season with a 29-11 overall record, earning a share of the South Coast Conference title with Cerritos College.
Huskies’ utility player, Rosie Avila, gave ELAC an early lead in the top of the fourth inning, when Saddleback’s right fielder Katelyn Gomez and third baseman Samantha Molina committed throwing-errors that allowed the Huskies to take a 1-0 lead.
Saddleback rallied in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at one.
Defensive errors became the Huskies’ demise, misplaying some ground balls and flyballs that gave Saddleback the opportunity to score.
During the bottom of the fifth, Saddleback scored a run after first baseman Larae Gonzales failed to catch a line-drive. Then, with bases loaded, Caelan Smith’s bunt caught the Huskies defense off guard that resulted in another Saddleback score to take the lead 3-2.
Those two runs hit the Huskies’ morale hard, but they continued to battle on the field for another score.
ELAC’s chance at taking back the game arose during the top of the sixth after utility player Larissa Munoz hit an RBI single to allow outfielder Heather Saucedo to run in for a score.
The run created hope for the Huskies, but pitcher Raeeen Fuentes couldn’t get ELAC over the slump. Fuentes’ attempt was stymied by the third base bag, after the ball hit it and caused another out.
ELAC was losing 3-2 and had bases loaded with one out to go in the top of sixth inning. The Huskies needed Gonzalez to keep the team alive, but unfortunately, she hit a fly ball to right field to end the Huskies’ chances at a comeback.
Saddleback swept the Huskies in a best-of-three series and advanced to the CCCAA Super Regionals.