By John M. Sherrard
(Walnut, CA) Mt. SAC sophomore pitcher Racqual Espinoza pitched a complete-game one-hitter and knocked in a key two-run double for a, 3-2, victory over Cerritos College Thursday afternoon in a South Coast Conference crossover game.
A big, 3-run sixth inning by the Mounties was ignited by a solo home run to left-center field from sophomore shortstop Kayla Sok.
"They fought and stay relaxed even when there is pressure on and learned how to handle the pressure," Mt. SAC coach Ruby Rojas said.
Mt. SAC, ranked fourth in Southern California, only had five hits in the game, but Espinoza allowed only two hits by the Falcons and struck out four.
"We have a phenomenal pitching staff this year and all of us, one through 22, are all really strong offensively too," Espinoza said.
"He (coach Alex Mascarenas) told me before the inning to be ready," said Espinoza of her double in the sixth inning.
Espinoza, who was in the flex position as the pitcher, came in for designated player Erin Mendoza.
With Mt. SAC leading 3-0 in the top of the seventh, the Falcons scored twice, to trail, 3-2, but Espinoza got the Falcons' leadoff hitter to pop up to Mt. SAC first baseman Toni Mendoza to end the game.
For the second year in a row the Mounties have started the season with five consecutive wins. In 2016 they were 7-0 before suffering their first defeat.
After a five-inning pitchers dual between Espinoza and Falcons pitcher Kristen Voller, in which they allowed a combined three hits, the Mounties broke through with three runs and three hits in the sixth inning.
"Racqual does a really good job of going "oppo" (opposite field)," Rojas said of her big hit.
The Mounties travel to El Camino College on Tuesday for a 3:00 pm game.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.