Softball Scores Fourth Straight Shutout Win

Photo by Yvette Blacknell
Photo by Yvette Blacknell

TORRANCE, Calif. – The El Camino College pitching staff continued to shine Wednesday afternoon as Elizabeth Cortez and Emily Piera combined to pitch the team's fourth straight shutout in a 3-0 victory over Ventura in a non-conference game at the ECC Softball Field.

With the shutout, Warriors' (20-6) pitchers have now tossed 24 and 1/3 innings of scoreless softball. They have not allowed a run since the seventh inning of Saturday's 7-2 loss to Cypress.

Cortez pitched in her second straight game and has been the winning pitcher in three of the team's four shutouts during the streak. On Wednesday, Cortez scattered four hits and recorded three strikeouts to go with one walk, securing her seventh victory of the season in the circle.

In her last three starts, Cortez has tossed 14 scoreless innings and has allowed just seven hits and struck out 11 batters.

Emily Piera closed things out in the seventh, allowing a hit and nothing more to pick up her second save of the season.  

Jessica Mendoza took the loss for the Pirates (14-12) after tossing a complete-game. She allowed three runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out two.

Neither team got much going in the first two innings but ECC did have a chance to score in the second inning. The first two batters reached base on bunt singles and then advanced after a wild pitch.

With no outs, Mendoza got Vanessa Romero to hit a shallow flyout to center field, holding the runners on base.

Marissa Garza then caught a bad break as Pirates third baseman Serrina Cabral made a diving catch on a line drive at third. Cabral then got up and got the double play at second after Alena De La Torre went to far off the base on contact.

But ECC got on the board in the third inning as Diamond Lewis hit a one-out double to left field and then came in to score on Brooklyn Araujo's RBI triple to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. It's all the team would get though as Araujo was thrown out at home trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt.

In the fourth, the Warriors tacked on two more runs. With runners at the corners, Mina Nakawake stole home after De La Torre faked a steal to second to draw a throw. Nakawake would take off on the throw and score easily to make it 2-0.

After a sacrifice bunt advanced De La Torre, Garza would not be denied this time as she hit a line drive that tipped off the glove of a leaping Kaylee Neal at short to get into left field and allow De La Torre to score and make it 3-0.

Cortez and Piera did the rest as they held the Pirates to three hits in the final three frames.

The Warriors will continue their five-game week Thursday with a South Coast Conference tilt on the road at Long Beach. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.