COSTA MESA -- A gritty effort by the Orange Coast College softball team came up just short as the Pirates fell to visiting Fullerton College, 5-2, on Friday at the OCC Softball Complex.
Coast (2-8, 0-5 in Orange Empire Conference) carried a 2-1 lead into the top of the fifth before the Hornets (9-6, 4-3) pulled ahead with three runs to grab the lead for good.
Back-to-back singles by Jaelyn Operana and Janae Gomez put runners on first and second. After a wild pitch moved them to second and third, Ally Cisneros brought them both in with a single to right-center, putting the Pirates up, 2-0.
Danielle Ramirez trimmed the deficit in half for the Hornets with a solo home run to center in the top of third and it stayed that way as Operana wiggled out of damage through the early parts of the game.
But, in the top of the fifth, a two-run single by Sarah Rengifo and an RBI-Charie Gonzalez gave the Hornets the big inning they were looking for.
In the top of the sixth, Clarissa Hernandez made it 5-2 with an RBI-single for Fullerton and that would be enough as relief pitcher Hanna Pionke picked up the win, holding the Pirates to two hits over five scoreless innings.
Gomez went 2-for-2 with a run scored for the Pirates. Operana batted all afternoon (Fullerton left 13 runners on base), but took the loss.
The Pirates will return to action on Wednesday at home against Cypress, beginning at 2:30 p.m.