By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SOUTH EL MONTE – The race for the Mission Valley League softball title is fit to be tied.
Shynia Torrez had two hits and scored a run and Danielle Dominguez and Dominica Mendoza were steady in the circle as Arroyo High School moved into a share of first place with a 4-2 victory over host South El Monte on Tuesday.
The Knights, also getting RBIs from Briana Mata and Rebecca Barber, improved to 18-4 overall and 12-2 in league play.
Ashley Diaz hit two home runs for South El Monte, which slipped to 14-6 and 12-2.
The teams will likely share the league title, with Arroyo being the league’s top representative for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs by virtue of winning the season series. Both are expected to win their season finale on Thursday. Arroyo hosts last-place Rosemead, with South El Monte at home against third-place Gabrielino.
Arroyo took advantage of four South El Monte errors to build a 4-1 lead by the fourth inning.
The Knights, after Diaz hit the first of her home runs in the first to tie it at 1, took a 2-1 lead in the second on a walk to Kassy Avila, a sacrifice, a single by Torrez and a hit-batter to Evelyn Sandoval.
Arroyo pushed it to 4-1 in the fourth, scoring two runs on three South El Monte errors, including an errant pick-off throw that allowed Torrez to score from second to make it 3-1. Cynthia McKeehan, who reached on an error, scored on fielding error to make it 4-1.
Arroyo’s Shynia Torrez: “I’m really happy that we won. We really battled it out really well. I don’t think we made any errors. We put the ball in play and made them make the mistake. We were a little nervous in the first inning, but once we started hitting, we stayed focused.”
South El Monte coach Dean Bunting: “It was pretty even. But the difference in the game was we made mistakes and allowed their runners to score. Defensively, they were tight, they made some great plays.”