Offense Stalls as Warriors Edged by Palomar

Offense Stalls as Warriors Edged by Palomar

TORRANCE, Calif. – El Camino College failed to score in a game for the first time in nearly two years as the Warriors suffered a 2-0 loss to Palomar Saturday morning at the ECC Softball Field.

The Warriors (2-2) managed just four hits and stranded six runners on base, including the potential game-tying runs in the bottom of the seventh, to suffer their first shutout loss since March 24, 2016; a 6-0 loss at Pasadena City College. It was also the first shutout loss at home for the Warriors under fourth-year head coach Jessica Rapoza. The last time the Warriors did not score at home was March 25, 2014 against Cerritos College.

On Saturday, the Warriors tallied four hits, two of them from Diamond Lewis. Alena De La Torre went 1-for-3 and Helaina Gallardo recorded a pinch-hit single in the seventh to account for all the offense for ECC.

Despite the struggles offensively and allowing the Comets 13 hits on the day, the Warriors were never out of it as Clarissa Chiquete and Maisie Weishoff combined to allow just two runs, pitching out of trouble in four of the seven innings to leave runners stranded in scoring position.

In the second inning, the Comets loaded the bases with one out. Chiquete, who started in the circle for the Warriors, got some help from catcher Ashley Machado who erased Alicia Garcia at third base on a brilliant back-pick play for the second out of the frame. Chiquete then got Jordan Ladner to foul out to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.

In the next inning, the Comets threatened again and this time cashed in on an opportunity. With two outs in the frame, the Comets strung together three straight singles, the last coming from Garcia to score Allie Hughen from second base and put Palomar up 1-0.

That marked the end of the line for Chiquete as Weishoff came in to pitch with two runners on. She was quickly welcomed into the game by Crystal DesLauriers with a hard single to right to load the bases. But Weishoff induced a flyout to right to the next batter to end the inning and limit the damage.

In the fourth, the Comets again put together a two-out rally as Kylie Pignone hit a double with a runner on first and then Hughen cashed in another run with a single to make it 2-0. Weishoff again limited the damage to one run though, getting Sarah Fisher to groundout to end the frame.

As for the Warriors, they got runners to third base with two outs in the fifth and sixth inning but could not cash them in. Their best and final chance came in the seventh as Annie Adamos reached on a throwing error, getting all the way to second on the errant throw by Hughen.

After a popup for the first out, Gallardo stepped up to pinch hit and recorded an infield single to put runners at the corners with one away. But Garcia, who led the Comets at the plate and in the pitching circle, got Weishoff to fly out and then struck out pinch-hitter Fiona Mutu to end the game.

Garcia went 3-for-4 with an RBI at the plate and tossed a complete-game shutout in the circle for Palomar. She allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out six.

The Warriors will hit the road Tuesday to take on East Los Angeles before returning to the ECC Softball Field on Wednesday afternoon to host defending CCCAA State Champions Cypress.