Softball team upsets Citrus in Super Regionals

Sophomore shortstop Tori Garcia slides to second base in the sixth inning against Citrus College. The Warriors defeated the Owls 7-2 at Palomar College on Saturday. Photo credit: John Fordiani

The softball game barely began when sophomore outfielder Kristen Romero stepped up to the plate.

With sophomore shortstop Tori Garcia already on second base, Romero blasted the ball past left field for a home run that earned the Warriors a quick 2-0 lead

The snappy runs set the template for the rest of the encounter on Saturday when the Warriors (No. 5) earned a 7-2 victory over the Citrus Owls (No. 4) at Palomar College.

“We know at this point it’s go big or go home,” Garcia said about the win. “I felt like we came really strong. We came to have fun and just play our best.”

To read more on the Warriors’ softball season click here

The Warriors overpowered the Owls for the entire game and displayed one of their most dominant performances of the year.

“Right now everything that they’ve worked for since July, it’s just paying off,” Rapoza said. “It’s fun to see (the Warriors) with all their confidence and composure and executing the way they know how to execute.”

Five runs in the fifth inning gave El Camino an unreachable advantage.

Two RBIs each from sophomore catcher Gabby Fordiani and sophomore pitcher Reina Trejo helped the Warriors take a commanding 6-0 lead. Then, freshman first baseman Jacqueline Gonzalez’s hit brought in Trejo to wrap up the inning with a 7-0 lead.

“I felt like the hitting was a little contagious,” Garcia said about the fifth inning blitz. “We knew where (Citrus) was throwing and what our pitch was so we just went after that.”

Garcia stole second base in a close call that was ruled as safe. However, the shortstop hurt her shoulder on the collision with the Citrus baseman. The officials debated the call for about three minutes before sticking with their original decision that it was safe.

“I’m OK,” Garcia said about the slide. “It was just a little collision. My body’s a little soar but I’m good.”

Citrus managed to pull two runs back in the fifth and seventh innings for the final 7-2 scoreline. Trejo faced 27 batters and pitched the full seven innings, She only allowed seven hits, one walk, and earned zero strikeouts.

“I think (our defense) did good,” Fordiani said. “We stayed calm which works for us because once we get overanxious, that’s when we start making mistakes.”

This win places the Warriors in the winning bracket of the Super Regionals at Palomar. This means EC will face Palomar College tomorrow.

“It really doesn’t matter who’s on that side of the dugout,” Rapoza said about tomorrow’s game. “We know (Palomar) is the No. 1 seed, we know they’ve played great all year long, but we just need to do what we do to give ourselves the best chance of winning.”

The winner of tomorrow’s game between EC and Palomar will earn a bye for the next matchups, while the loser must face the winner of Cerritos against Citrus.

The winner of that encounter will then face the bye team for a ticket to the state championships. Palomar College will host the Warriors at noon tomorrow, according to EC athletics.