The Saddleback softball team opened the 2019 season with a 9-7 win against Los Angeles Mission College on Friday night at the Saddleback Softball Complex. The Gauchos and Eagles battled for nearly three hours with Saddleback hanging on for the win.
Saddleback was led by freshman Vanessa Alvarran, who finished 4-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base. Alvarran (pictured) had what ended up being the game winning hit as she put the Gauchos up 3-1 in the second inning with a two-out double to left-center field, scoring both Shay Savoie and Naomi Varela. Saddleback would end up scoring five times in the second inning to get out to a 5-1 lead.
LA Mission battled back with three runs in the top of the third inning, taking advantage of an error, two walks and a wild pitch. The Gauchos regrouped with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the fourth inning, with Dani De la Fuente driving in two runs with a double.
Saddleback led 9-7 heading into the top of the seventh inning when LA Mission loaded the bases with one out in the inning. The Gauchos got out of the inning when pitcher McKenna Walton pitched her way out of a jam, getting Gyselle Soto to pop out and Julissa Rodriguez to hit into a harmless fielder's choice.
Saddleback will try to start the season with two straight wins when they travel to Southwestern College on Saturday. The Gauchos and Jaguars are set to start at 12:00 PM in Chula Vista.