By Alex Olivares
The Dons took an early lead Saturday with the help of five stolen bases, leading to a 4-1 victory at home against the East Los Angeles Huskies.
After Emily Whitecavage stole second base in the first inning, Alyssa Yglesias slammed a single into the center-left field gap that allowed her teammate to dash towards home plate and score the first run of the game.
“Once we start stealing a lot, it gets in their heads,” Whitecavage said.
This set the pace for the next five innings.
Co-Head Coach Jessica Rapoza attributed the win to runners taking advantage of their speed and multiple ground balls in early innings.
“We put a lot of priority on base running and being aggressive,” Rapoza said. “If I feel like the opportunity is conducive to stealing a base we will and it doesn’t matter who’s on first base.”
An error by the Huskies catcher attempting to out a runner in the third inning allowed Whitecavage to steal a run and Keila Tenorio to sneak second.
Dons pitcher Lindsey Esparza led the defense for SAC, throwing six innings of three-hit ball and giving up no runs.
Esparza attributed her focused pitching on reassurance received from her coach and team’s encouragement.
“Coach always tells us don‘t make your job so big because it psyches you out. Don’t think like everything’s on you,” Esparza said.
Despite holding a better record in their conference games than the Dons, the Huskies offense was their main downfall for the game.
“I don’t think there was much to be proud of today,” said East Los Angeles Head Softball Coach Erika Blanco. “I think that our adjustments at the plate needed to be improved.”
The victory extends the Dons’ win steak to six. They play again at 3 p.m. Monday against Fullerton College at home.