Mar 20, 2013
by John Czimbal
Staff Writer, RCC
RIVERSIDE – Natalie Barrios clouted her ninth home run of the season – a three-run blast – and Katherine Macias made it stand as the host Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers women's fastpitch softball team powered past the visiting Cypress College Chargers, 3-1, in a showdown for undisputed first place in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) game Wednesday evening at Brown Field (Evans Sports Complex).
Riverside (24-1, 10-1 OEC) opened the scoring in the third inning when freshman RF Austin Schmidt (Riverside – Notre Dame HS) lined the first pitch she saw for a single to right-center field. After freshman C Samantha Avila (Riverside / Perris – Citrus Hill HS) reached first base on a sacrifice bunt which was mishandled by the Cypress catcher for an error. Up stepped leadoff hitter Barrios, a sophomore SS from Corona – Centennial HS who socked a 2-2 pitched over the left-center field fence for a three-run round tripper.
In the Cypress fifth with two outs, sophomore designated player Alyssia Palamino (Rialto) socked a 0-1 offering over the centerfield fence to get the defending state champion Chargers (18-4, 9-2 OEC) on the board.
Macias, a sophomore RHP (Riverside – Arlington HS /Yavapai CC – Prescott, AZ), went the distance and allowed just the one hit (home run) and walked two (with two strikeouts) to improve to 11-0. Cypress starting RHP Stephanie Luhmann (Los Alamitos) also went the distance (six innings), allowed three hits, three walks (two intentional) with five strikeouts, but saw her record fall to 10-2.