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Late rally falls short, No. 12 Vikings edged in season opener 5-4 at Riverside

Late rally falls short, No. 12 Vikings edged in season opener 5-4 at Riverside

RIVERSIDE – The 2023 Long Beach City College softball season got off to a tough start as the No. 12 state-ranked Vikings suffered a narrow 5-4 loss at Riverside City College in both teams' season-opener.

Long Beach fell behind 5-0 after the Tigers put up two runs in the bottom of the second inning and three more in the third.

But the Vikings' offense came alive in the top of the fourth. With two outs and pinch runner Abygail Castro on third base, Alia Marquez came through with a clutch two-out, RBI-single to get LBCC on the board.

In the fifth, Alejandra Mota led off the frame with a solo home run. Four batters later, Brianna Nunez lifted a sacrifice fly that drove in Kirstin Sanchez with the Vikings' second run of the inning.

Mota collected her second RBI of the contest after smacking a two-out single up the middle that scored Breanna Lucero from second in the sixth.

But Long Beach would get no closer. LBCC went down in order in the top of the seventh to close out the contest.

Mota was impressive in her Viking debut, going 3 for 4 at the plate with a double and home run.

Olivia Ramirez took the loss for Long Beach. She allowed 2 runs and 3 hits over 2 innings. Ashley Hester tossed the final 4 innings, giving up 3 unearned runs and 6 hits.

The Vikings are back in action in search of win No. 1 on Thursday (Feb. 2) when they host Cypress College at 2 p.m. in their 2023 home opener.