COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College softball team overcame a late-inning rally to notch a 5-3 Orange Empire Conference win over visiting Riverside City College on Wednesday.
Coast (15-17, 6-10 in OEC) picked up a strong pitching performance from Danielle Votendahl, who went the distance and allowed just three runs (two earned) on five hits over seven innings with four strikeouts. Votendahl held the Tigers (22-12, 9-7) hitless through the first five innings before allowing some late-game drama to an otherwise dominant performance.
Coast grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Nala Osorio doubled to right field. Votendahl, who was on first base, advanced to third and scored on a wild cutoff throw to the plate.
In the bottom of the third, Votendahl led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on an RBI-single by Chloe Visca, putting the Pirates up, 2-0.
The Pirates took advantage of some RCC miscues in the fourth to score three runs and jump out to a 5-0 lead. Cora Tyo lined a triple down the right-field line to drive in Savannah Weaver, who walked to lead off the frame. With runners on first and third, a passed ball scored Audrey Beck and moved Votendahl all the way to third and she would eventually score on a wild pitch to cap off the three-run frame.
Taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning, leadoff hitter Terri Nava ended that thought with a leadoff single and she would eventually come around and score to make it 5-1, but Votendahl would coax an inning-ending ground out with the bases loaded to escape further damage.
It was more of the same as three singles and a walk plated two runs and had RCC runners on first and second with nobody out. Ariel Carlson hit a grounder that Tyo reached deep in the hole at shortstop and forced the lead runner out at third on a close play for the first out of the inning. A'loni Appleton then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game, giving the Pirates a crucial win against their OEC opponent.
For the Tigers it was an afternoon of missed opportunities early and late in the game. In the top of the first, two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with nobody out, but Votendahl struck out Appleton for the first out. Then, on what was the third ball of the pitch sequence, the RCC batter and runner on first thought it was ball four and Coast managed to pick off the wandering base runner for the second out. One pitch later, Votendahl struck out Jocelyn Ontiveros to end the bizarre inning.
Votendahl went 2-for-3 with three runs scored for Coast, while Tyo and Osorio added two hits apiece.
Coast will return to action on Friday at Cypress College (2 p.m.) before hosting L.A. Harbor on Monday at 2 p.m.