Softball team heads to So-Cal Regional playoffs

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Victor Lozano/El Paisano

Rio Hondo softball In-Fielder Elaine Verdugo makes solid contact and gets a powerful hit against College of the Desert on April 20.

Victor Lozano, Staff Writer

Though the Rio Hondo softball team had an up and down season, they managed to weather through the storm with a 14-2 win against Victor Valley College on April 25 to end their season with a four game winning streak. This was a must win game in order for Rio Hondo to qualify for the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

Despite boasting a subpar 15-24 record prior to the game, the Lady Roadrunners managed to win 9 of their 14 conference games, with only one win away from heading to the playoffs.

Still hot from their previous game against Barstow, where they put up a season high 22 runs, the start Rio Hondo had would propel them to a good finish to a season where nothing seemed certain.

The Lady Roadrunners started the game putting up five runs in the first, capped off by Victoria Diaz’s RBI double that made it a 5-0 start at the end of the first inning.

Pitcher Brenae Martinez would have one of her finest games with nine hits, allowing two runs while striking out seven batters. She would also have a day at the plate as well, going 2 for 2 along with three RBI’s.

The second inning was more of the same after bases were loaded, RBI’s from Martinez and Mylene Valencia drove in Verdugo and Brittany Salcido for a 7-0 game at the end of the second inning.

But Elaine Verdugo had the biggest day offensively, going 4 for 4 at the plate with two triples and two RBI’s. Verdugo would score four times and stole three bases in the game.

Rio Hondo capitalized on Victor Valley’s pitcher, Summer Cerna, as she had a bad day with and a total of 11 errors with Verdugo and Julianna Fierro scoring unearned runs and hitting Krystal Vega all in the third inning for a 10-0 start for the Lady Roadrunners.

More RBI singles from Martinez and Fierro put Verdugo and Salcido in scoring position for a 12-0 game at the end of the fourth.

After a 12-0 score, Rio lead in the bottom of the fifth after scores from Carla Galvez and Esthefany Martinez, Victor Valley would finally score two late runs but the mercy rule took into effect ending the game in the fifth, with the final score being 14-2.

Rio ends the regular season with a four game winning streak and a 16-24 overall record and with a 10-5 conference record heading into the So-Cal Regional playoffs.

Rio Hondo’s win against Victor Valley College gave them the tiebreaker for second place in the Foothill Conference and would be their second consecutive year heading to the playoffs under Head Coach Bianca Urquidi with playoff seedings being determined on April 30.