With half of the games ending by way of mercy so far this season, the Dons are ranked first and are undefeated in conference play. The Dons have a perfect 10-0 and aren’t letting the rest of the Orange Empire Conference catch up.
Leading the Dons this year is sophomore pitcher Emily Rosas, who completed 10 shutouts and three no-hitters. With Covid giving athletes an opportunity for an extra year of eligibility, Rosas is currently in her third season. This season is already her best one with 15 games remaining in the season.
“Part of her performance is because of the great deal of respect and communication between the players and coaches,” said Emily’s mom Antonia Rosas.
Making batters look foolish is her specialty and has the numbers to prove it. Rosas has been putting the league on notice this season with 20 wins under her name. Even her own teammates are impressed with her consistency throughout the season.
“It’s crazy catching her, I didn’t really understand how good she was until I got behind the plate, and I was like this is mindblowing,” said sophomore catcher Iyari Ramirez. “Em is a different breed, like we come out there and she pumps us up and then she throws a bunch of strikes and comes back and gives us more energy, it’s just unexplainable.”
This is combined with a total of nine shutouts to complete a perfectly balanced team. The Dons have an outstanding .974 fielding percentage and a total of 129 assists.
“Our defense is solid, I think that’s separating us from past teams that we have had. Sometimes there is a hole, but I think these girls are really good defensively,” said head coach Marissa Ross.
The Dons have slipped up three times and hold an overall record of 20-3 including 10 mercy rules. The first mercy victim was Mt. San Jacinto College in the first game of the season. That match ended in six innings with a final score of 8-0. Their biggest blowout so far was a visit to San Diego Mesa College with a final score of 19-0 in five innings of play.
A total of 158 runs in 23 games shows that they know how to clear the bases. It’s difficult to pinpoint only one-hitter in a squad filled with great batters. The Dons have seven starting batters who hit above a .300 average.
The leadoff hitter for the Dons is sophomore shortstop Airilin Ramirez who has been essential. A menace in the box she has a total of 20 RBIs and 26 hits. Causing serious chaos in the batters box for visiting pitchers are sophomore infielder Jojo Westerfield and freshman catcher Sarah Casey. In the cleanup spot, Westerfield holds a .412 average followed by Casey with an outstanding .421 average. The heart of the order has been a nightmare for opponents who haven’t found a solution to stop them.
“They really have the mentality that losing is not acceptable, so they are pretty eager after a loss and they believe if they lose they are gonna come back and win the next one.” said Ross.