By John Sherrard, Correspondent
WHITTIER – The El Rancho High School softball team exploded for eight runs in the final two innings to snap a two-game losing streak with an 8-1 win over host Pioneer on Tuesday in the Del Rio League opener for both teams.
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, El Rancho junior first baseman Anissa Sanchez hit a three-run home run over the head of the Pioneer left fielder to start the Dons onslaught.
“I just went up there with a positive attitude and it (pitch) was right there down the middle and I felt it,” Sanchez said.
Scoring ahead of her was freshman Janessa Lozano (walk) and senior second baseman Bri Ramos (hit by the pitch).
Titans starting pitcher Sydnee Alvarez had two outs and a 3-2 count on Ramos before hitting her. The next batter, Sanchez, hit the first pitch for the home run.
Alvarez was sailing along in the first four innings, allowing only one base runner and striking out three.
El Rancho sophomore Jackie DeLoza (3-3) pitched a two-hitter.
“(DeLoza) is a competitor and she has a lot of heart and lives on the corners and when we are getting the calls, she’s unhittable,” first-year El Rancho coach A.J. Reyes said. “(Ramos) had a great at-bat and got Anissa up and she got a hold of it (home run).”
The Dons (7-6) scored five more runs in the seventh, highlighted by a leadoff home run by sophomore third baseman Destiny Cervantes and a two-run homer to center by Lozano.
Pioneer scored in the first inning after leadoff hitter, shortstop Rocky Norzagaray, was hit by a pitch, stole second and came home on an RBI single by second baseman Julia Gaytan.
That was pretty much it for the Titans (6-8) as DeLoza (five strikeouts, two walks) retired 18 of 22 batters after the second inning.
“That (homer by Sanchez) really made my game, to know that the team didn’t give up,” DeLoza said.