TORRANCE, Calif. – El Camino College had a late lead against No. 1 Mount San Antonio on Thursday afternoon but could not hold on to it in a 3-2 South Coast Conference loss at the ECC Softball Field.
For the second time this season, the Warriors led the Mounties by a run in the sixth inning. But for the second time this season, the Mounties pulled off some late heroics to edge past the Warriors.
On Thursday, ECC held a 2-1 lead going into the sixth and were one out away from avoiding any damage in the frame. But with two on and two out, Adriana Ramirez belted a two-run double to left-center off Warriors starter Elizabeth Cortez to score both runners and give the Mounties a 3-2 advantage.
The Warriors would be retired in order in the sixth and stranded the potential game-tying run on first base in the seventh to drop their second straight game.
Cortez took the loss in the circle after allowing three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. She struck out one in five and 2/3 innings of work. Jocelyn Hernandez recorded the final seven outs in order.
Brianna Wheeler scored the win after tossing a complete game. She allowed two unearned runs on just three hits and struck out eight to pick up her 10th win of the year without a loss.
The Warriors got all their offense in the fourth inning, which started with a fielding error by the Mounties.
With ECC trailing 1-0, Diamond Lewis reached on an error at short to lead off the inning, ending a streak of nine straight batters retired by Wheeler. With one out, Brooklyn Araujo singled through the left side to break up Wheeler's no-hitter and put the tying run in scoring position. The Warriors would pull off a double steal to put the go-ahead run in scoring position but Wheeler struck out Hernandez for the second out.
Kylee Perryman stepped in and lofted a single to center field, allowing Lewis and Araujo to score to give the Warriors the 2-1 lead.
The Warriors will return to action Saturday afternoon at noon as Palomar visits the ECC Softball Field.