By Tadzio Garcia
The defending South Coast Conference champion East Lost Angeles College softball team kicked off the 2015 season with a 13-10 loss against Riverside City College Friday, Jan. 30.
Gone for the Huskies is the 2014 California Community Colleges Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year, Alashanee Medina, and catcher, Valerie Aguilar, who was named to the 2014 Southern California First Team.
Riverside returned center fielder Michelle Paul who was also a 2014 Southern California First Team recipient. Paul had three runs batted in the Tigers’ win against ELAC.
Returning to the ELAC lineup is center fielder Larissa Munoz, had a .377 batting average last year. Munoz was 4-for-5 against Riverside pitchers. She finished with a .800 batting average, 5th best in the state.
The game was delayed for 30 minutes after the top of the 7th inning due to light rainfall with the state’s No. 10-ranked Riverside celebrating a possible 13-5 win.
The Huskies, however, scored five runs after the delay, to the delight of the home crowd quieting the vocal Riverside team.
“It wasn’t enough, but no worries, it’s just the first game of the season,” ELAC sophomore and designated player Claudia Zurita said. “Our freshmen now have experience of playing in a close college softball game and we will take that experience to (Santa Maria) to play good ball.”
Zurita hit the game’s only home run. Four Huskies each had two hits, freshmen infielder Alizah Mayagoitia, shortstop Joslyn Macias and third-baseman Andrea Rocha, as well as sophomore second baseman Cassandra Sarabia.
ELAC freshman pitcher Byanka Diosdado took the loss even though she pitched just two innings and allowed only two of the 13 runs that Riverside scored. Fuentes pitched five innings, striking out two, while allowing eight runs off of 13 Riverside hits.
The Huskies return to action Friday Feb. 7 in a double-header at Allan Hancock College. ELAC plays against Southern California’s No. 10-ranked Allan Hancock, 1-1 overall, at 11 a.m. and Cuesta College (1-2) at 1 p.m.