Softball wins two games at the Wildcat Invitational

Photo by Gabriel L. Acosta
Gabriel L. Acosta/HIGHLANDER

March 1, 2013
Highlanders 1 – Vikings 0

The softball team continued their season Friday, March 1 in the first game of a double-header at the Wildcat Invitational with a 1-0 win over the Portland State Vikings. Alyssa Razo pitched beautifully for the Highlanders, throwing a complete game. Alexis Pickett had the only RBI for the Highlanders, though the team combined for five hits. The Vikings managed four hits against Razo.

Razo didn’t look like a pitcher in command of the game during the first inning, as she gave up a single and a walk to put her in a tough jam. However, she won a tough at-bat against Viking Alexa Morales, striking her out to end the inning.

Razo would hold the Vikings to just two more hits through the fifth inning, finding her dominance. Riverside would also prove to be anemic through the beginning innings, failing to score. The Highlanders would put up the game’s lone run during the fifth inning when Brittney Akey doubled to start the fifth. She was moved to third on a Meagan Esteban bunt and Alexis Pickett singled Akey home two batters later.

Both the Vikings and Highlanders would remain scoreless the next inning and a half, but it was the Highlanders who emerged victorious with their fourth straight win.

March 1, 2013
Wildcats 12 – Highlanders 2

Riverside’s softball team lost the second game of its doubleheader to #17 ranked opponent Arizona 12-2. The game only lasted five innings before the mercy rule was put into effect.

The Wildcats scored 6 runs in the first inning and scored 6 more in the third. Highlander Ashley Ercolono didn’t retire a single batter in the first inning and was pulled for Taylor Alvarez. Alvarez allowed 6 runs through four innings of work. Brigette Del Ponte and Nancy Bowling drove in 3 runs each for the Wildcats as Highlander Natalie Sanchez drove in the only 2 runs for the Highlanders.

UCR Ercolono gave up a single and a walk to begin the game and then surrendered a home run to Del Ponte for the first 3 runs for the Wildcats. Bowling then doubled two batters later to drive in a run. Arizona would drive in 2 more runs to jump out to a 6-0 lead.

Ercolano came up to bat and led off the second inning with a double. After two flyouts later, UCR Sanchez hit a home run to cut the lead within 4 runs. After a quiet second inning, the Wildcats scored the 6 runs in the third inning, with the help of Wildcat Alex Lavine’s double that plated 2 runs.

The Highlanders failed to score in the fifth inning to stop the mercy rule but could not pull it off.

March 2, 2013
Highlanders 2- Terriers 0

The Highlander softball team continued their weekend play at the Wildcat Invitational against Boston University, winning 2-0. The Highlanders recovered after a tough loss against Arizona. Star pitcher Alyssa Razo, after a day when she tossed a complete game against the Portland State Vikings, Razo shut out Boston University and nearly missed a perfect game. Razo struck out three batters over seven innings.

Razo hasn’t allowed a run over her last 14 innings. UCR has only managed four hits in a weekend where they’ve struggled to score. But Riverside scored on an earned and unearned run during the fourth inning to take the a 2-0 lead for their starter. Dionne Anderson had an RBI and two hits for the Highlanders.

Razo dominated the entire game until she gave up a single to Lauren Hynes in the sixth inning, stopping her bid for a perfect game. She may have given up a single but she stayed in to finish the game, leading UCR to another big win at the invitational.

March 2, 2013
Vikings 11 – Highlanders 3

The softball team lost a tough match against Portland State 11-3. The Highlanders again struggled offensively and couldn’t stop the resurgent Viking offense.

Alyssa Razo continued her large workload after her excellent start against Boston. She allowed 4 runs before being removed in the first inning for Taylor Alvarez. Alvarez gave up 2 more runs in the first inning. After the first inning, Ashley Ercolano came in to finish the rest of the game. However, she struggled and gave up 5 runs.

Ercolano singled to right field in the top of the first inning to drive home Dionne Anderson, who led off the inning with a walk. The Vikings scored 5 runs in the first inning when the Vikings had a leadoff home run from Carly McEachran and a 3-run homer from Brittany Hendrickson.

The Highlanders would score 2 runs in the fifth inning but Portland State would score 2 more in the bottom of the fifth to end the game in mercy.

March 3, 2013
Terriers 7 – Highlanders 6

The Highlanders dropped their final game of the invitational losing to Boston University 7-6. Taylor Alvarez pitched well, giving up 3 runs over five innings. Alvarez left the game with the lead for Riverside, however, the Highlanders gave up 3 runs in the seventh to lose the lead. Kayla White had three hits and an RBI for the Highlanders, while Mandy Fernandez hit a three-run homer for Boston to lead the Terriers to the win.

UCR scored a run in the second inning when Natalie Sanchez singled home Alexa White. The Highlanders would again score in the third inning, after White doubled in a run.

After giving up the lead, the Highlanders would score 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh on a Brittanie Akey ground out and a Meagan Esteban single, but fell just short of tying the game.

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