By CASEY MUSE JR
The Pima Community College softball team eased into the season with some key wins at the beginning of conference play. The Aztecs are striving for consistency in their pitching as well as trying to keep their bats healthy.
Jan. 31: PCC 0, Arizona Western 6 / PCC 5, Arizona Western 4
The Aztecs were able to split in their conference opener on the road against Arizona Western College.
Pima was shutout in the first game as the team was unable to earn any runs off of their seven hits.
Freshman Edith Prieto went two-for-three from the plate but was unable to parlay anything into a score. Arizona Western scored three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth to bust the game open.
Sophomore Baily Critchlow took the loss in the game as she pitched five innings. She finished with eight hits, two strikeouts and one walk.
The Aztecs fell behind in the second game 2-0, but finally found some offense in the fifth inning as sophomore Margarita Corona hit a two-run RBI single to give PCC a 3-2 lead. The Aztecs would strengthen their lead to 5-3 before the end of the inning.
Freshman pitcher Mandy Lorenson finished her complete game with a strikeout on the final batter as Arizona Western left the tying runner stranded on third. Lorenson finished with six hits, seven strikeouts and five walks.
Feb. 4: PCC 13, Glendale 1 / PCC 5, Glendale 4
Pima earned a sweep in a home doubleheader against Glendale Community College. The Aztecs dominated the first game early, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings.
Critchlow threw the three innings, and picked up a win giving up one hit and no runs. Pima was solid in all aspects as they finished with a 13-1 win.
The second game was much closer as it took a game winning RBI double from Corona to seal it. The Aztecs had another solid start in this game, scoring two runs in the first inning.
Glendale would battle back to obtain the lead and set things up for Corona’s heroic moment in the end.
Critchlow picked up another win in a relief effort. She gave up no hits and earned a strikeout in the final two innings. Freshman Mandy Lorenson started the game and finished with eight hits, four strikeouts and four walks.
Feb. 7: PCC 9, Mesa 5 / PCC 12, Mesa 5
The Aztecs picked up another big sweep on the road this, as Pima was sharp in this conference meeting at Mesa.
The offense was big during the mid-innings in the first game as Freshman Alyssa Smith hit an RBI double in the fifth inning and Sophomore Gabriela Trejo cracked a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Trejo finished the contest three-for-four two RBIs and two runs scored.
Critchlow earned the win after pitching a complete game, finishing with nine hits, four strikeouts, and two walks.
The Aztecs were able to take a big lead in the second game during the fifth inning. Pima was up 5-4 at this point in the game but scored seven runs in the fifth to put the game away.
Freshman Hannah Freer got the win in a relief appearance. She pitched the final three innings and ended with four hits, two strikeouts and one walk.
Feb. 11: PCC 4, Yavapai College 12 / PCC 2, Yavapai College 15
It was a tough day for the Aztecs at home against Yavapai College. PCC gave up a total of 27 runs between two games and were never able to get anything going.
Yavapai started the first game hot and never looked back. The roughriders were able to score two runs in five of the seven innings played.
Sophomore Courtney Brown provided a bright spot for the Aztecs as she hit a solo home run in the third inning. Brown finished the game 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Critchlow took the loss as she pitched two innings and gave up four runs. Critchlow finished with six hits, one strikeout, and two walks.
The second game did not go any better as Yavapai scored five runs in the first inning and another six runs in the fifth to finish the dominant performance.
Freshman Mandy Lorenson took the loss after pitching two-thirds of an inning giving up five runs on five walks.
Feb. 14: PCC 3, Gateway 5 / PCC 12, Gateway 0
Pima was able to split with Gateway Community College at home.
The Aztecs fell behind early in the first game and were never able to quite catch up in the end. Critchlow took the loss pitching a complete game with five earned runs, eight hits, four strikeouts and two walks.
The second game was much different as PCC was able to jump out to an early lead themselves scoring eight runs in the first inning. Gateway was not able to recover. Sophomore Luisa Silvain earned the win as she pitched the whole game with two hits, three strikeouts and two walks.
Feb. 18: Central Arizona College, West Campus, doubleheader 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.
Feb. 21: Eastern Arizona College, West Campus, doubleheader 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Feb. 25: Scottsdale CC, West Campus, doubleheader 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.
Feb. 28: @Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, AZ, doubleheader 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.