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Mt. SAC Softball defeats El Camino, 9-4, in SCC action; Urbina returns with solid pitching performance.

File Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage
File Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage

(Walnut, CA) After missing the last few games, Mt. SAC sophomore pitcher Aleyna Urbina turned in a solid six-plus innings in relief to lead the Mounties to a 9-4 win over visiting El Camino Friday in a South Coast Conference game.

With the win, Mt. SAC improved to 27-7 overall and 15-2 in conference to hold on to second place behind Long Beach City College.

The Mounties face LBCC later this week (Thursday, April 18). They will complete a halted game due to weather earlier in March and then play the regularly scheduled game at 1:00 pm.

Urbina (8-5), who hasn't seen action recently, relieved starter Dallas Garcia in the bottom of the first inning and pitched six and a third innings, scattering five hits and allowing a run.

"It felt good to be out there," said Urbina, who has been out for three weeks. "It did catch me by surprise because I didn't think I was going to pitch (Friday).

"I think that we have each other's back, especially when I was out, they had my back." Mt. SAC coach Ruby Rojas was pleasantly surprised before the game when she heard Urbina was ready to pitch.

"Oh my gosh, honestly it was a surprise and at first, I thought she was kidding, and (Urbina) told me she felt great, and 'I feel like a hundred percent,'" said Rojas, of her conversation with Urbina. "She hadn't thrown a game in three weeks, and you don't forget (how to pitch).

"(Friday's) game was super important and El Camino is a great team, but I was just proud of our girls and how they responded from that loss (5-4, 8 Inn.) against Cerritos (April 9). Maybe it was needed. It definitely humbled us."

Rojas knew that the early 3-run deficit would energize the team, as it has during the season.

"They knew that they could come back," said Rojas, of the Warriors' 3-0 lead. "We got three in the first inning. Sometimes you're going to get punched first and what are you going to do? It was a blessing to have Aleyna (Urbina) feel ready."

After trailing 3-0 in the first inning, the Mounties responded with three runs of their own to tie the game, 3-3, then scored four more the next inning to lead, 7-3, and never looked back the rest of the way.

Leading the way for the Mounties was Janis Espinoza (2-4, 2 runs, doubles), Mercedes Alba (2-3, 2 runs, RBI), and Amanda Esquivel (2-4, 3 RBIs, double) with two hits each.

After El Camino opened the first with two home runs for the early 3-0 lead, Alba (RBI) and Esquivel (2 RBIs) had RBI singles to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

Highlighting the four-run second inning for the Mounties was a groundout by Alyssa Rubalcava (1-3, run, 2 RBIs), scoring Audrey White, a two-run single by catcher Morgan Kneubuhler (1-4, 2 RBIs), and a groundout RBI by center fielder Rianna De La Barcena, scoring right fielder Sofia Femath for the 7-3 lead.

Single runs came across in the fourth and fifth innings for the Mounties.