Story and Photos
By Christian Romo
With two aces starting the game, the Rams and the Wildcats delivered the quick, low-scoring game many expected. But after capitalizing with two fourth-inning runs, Monrovia held off their league rivals to stay in second place in the Rio Hondo league.
Getting seven strong innings from pitcher Britney Lopez, the Wildcats (9-10, 5-2 Rio Hondo) beat the Temple City Rams (3-11, 2-4 Rio Hondo), 2-1, Friday afternoon in Monrovia. Temple City starter Elliana Zellien had faced the minimum amount of batters through three innings before Monrovia’s bats broke through in the fourth.
“We were getting jammed with inside pitches,” said Wildcats sophomore Ashley Oliva, “but once we recognized that, we were able to adjust and get some hits.” Oliva went 2-2, pulling an RBI single through the left side of the infield that put the Wildcats up 2-0 in the fourth. But despite Oliva’s hitting, Monrovia’s offense was quiet, putting up only two hits from the other eight starters. “Our bats are a little weak right now,” said Lopez, “but we’re working, we’ll get there.”
The Temple City bats were just as silent, matching Monrovia with four hits and managing only one run off a fielding error in the sixth inning. “We didn’t hit,” said Rams coach Bob Ellingsworth. “Our defense did fine, but we didn’t hit the ball.” Zellien bettered her counterpart’s performance with seven strikeouts through six innings, disorienting Monrovia’s batters with high velocity and spin, but three singles and a sacrifice fly in the fourth was all the Wildcats needed to win. “We can’t make our defense be perfect, and we can’t make our pitchers be perfect,” said Ellingsworth.
Though Zellien shined, Lopez managed just as well, getting her third win of the season by forcing easy plays for her defense. “The last game, our infield was a little shaky,” said Lopez, “but the last practice we worked hard to make sure we had a strong defense.” After escaping a first-inning jam, the senior captain finished with five strikeouts, giving up only four hits in seven innings of work. “Britney accounts for a lot of the team,” said Mayorga. “[The Rams] are a good hitting team, but today Britney had her best coming.”
The Wildcats are now 2-0 against the Rams this season and will go for the season sweep on April 28th at Temple City. The Rams, who now sit in third place in league, will try to bounce back against South Pasadena on Tuesday at 3:30.