Softball team starts playoffs on the road against Ventura College

In-fielder+Mylene+Valencia+anticipates+the+fast+approaching+ball+as+she+prepares+to+swing+against+San+Bernardino+Valley.+

Crystian Mendoza/El Paisano

In-fielder Mylene Valencia anticipates the fast approaching ball as she prepares to swing against San Bernardino Valley.

Victor Lozano, Staff Writer

For the second consecutive year the Rio Hondo Softball team made the playoffs under Head Coach Bianca Urquidi, after winning four straight conference games and placing second in the Foothill Conference.

After a stretch where the team lost seven out of eight games with three of those being conference games, it seemed like the Lady Roadrunners chances of making the playoffs were slim. The team remained positive though, winning four straight games, tying for second place in the conference with San Bernardino Valley College.

Rio had won the season series against San Bernardino Valley, winning two out of the three games that were played that gave them the tiebreaker and the playoff spot.

The Southern California Regional playoff seedings were announced on Apr 30 and Rio Hondo was selected as the eighteenth seed to face fifteenth seed Ventura College on the road on May 3 at 2 p.m.

Following the seeding placements, the Foothill Athletic Conference had announced that six players from Rio Hondo were selected for the 2016 All-Foothill Conference Teams.

The three Rio Hondo players that were chosen to be on the First Team were sophomores Esthefany Martinez, Brittany Salcido and Elaine Verdugo. The two selected for the Second Team were Julianna Fierro and Gabrielle Salavdor.

Brenae Martinez was selected as the Pitcher of the Year after a 10-5 record, pitching 88.2 innings in 15 games and 14 starts. Along with a 3.16 ERA for the season, Martinez also pitched a shutout game against San Bernardino Valley on March 23.

Martinez was also awarded Pitcher of the Week from March 20 to 26 after winning four games and losing none, pitching back-to-back shutout games and giving up two runs. She also struck out 13 batters while walking three in 23 innings.

Martinez very well deserved her Pitcher of the Year and week awards as she has been an outstanding leader and role model for her Rio Hondo softball teammates this season.