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The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Team chemistry on full display in Hornets victory

Fullerton College continued their perfect OEC season as they took down Santa Ana College with a three-run fourth inning.
Matthew Gonzalez
Hornet freshman first baseman Veronica Moore throws the ball around the infield at home against Santa Ana College on Tuesday, April 24, 2024.

Blue and gold balloons tied to the bleachers flew in the air. The entryways in the dugout had flowy blue and gold fringe. In the bleachers were crafted posters with pictures of players and words of support for the 12 departing sophomore Hornets. Sophomore day ended on a high note as Fullerton College secured a 3-1 win over Santa Ana College on Tuesday afternoon at home.

The Dons out-hit the Hornets 7-5, but sophomore starting pitcher Allyson Fuentes did not allow a runner to reach third base until the seventh inning. Fuentes pitched a complete game and notched her 16 win of the season. She allowed seven hits, one earned run, and secured four strikeouts with no walks.

Santa Ana starting pitcher, sophomore Ale Guzman, had only allowed one hit prior to the fourth inning. Costly mistakes gave the Hornets an opportunity to reach base, as they capitalized on the Dons’ mistakes and showed why team play is a crucial component for any squad with championship aspirations.

Designated player and sophomore Coco Siono dragged a bunt toward the first base line. As the ball rolled down the line, no one was sure if the ball was fair or foul. Siono sacrificed herself as she walked into the glove of freshman first baseman Abigail Lindauer.

“She gave herself up and we were able to manufacture some runs like that,” said co-head coach Crystal Aguirre. “I think that’s been the biggest thing is getting them to understand its team first and not self. Sometimes you have to give up yourself. Good things will come back in return, not just for the team, but it comes back in return for yourself. Having that trust in one another.”

The sacrifice paid off greatly for the Hornets, as Fuentes approached the plate with runners on second and third. She knocked in the teams’ only RBI for the day deep into left field for a 2-0 lead. The first and third scores came from unearned runs where the Dons bobbled the ball on a hit to shortstop and then botched a pick off play from the catcher to first base that went toward the foul pole.

“I felt pretty confident with the three runs,” Fuentes said. “I had a cushion I could lean back on just in case anything like the spinning happens.”

Hornets pitcher Macy Brandl keeps her eye on the ball in an OEC showdown with Santa Ana. (Matthew Gonzalez)

The Orange Empire Conference champs, currently ranked number one in the state, had their hard-throwing right fielder, sophomore Alyssa Garcia, alert to make stellar defensive plays. In the second inning, Santa Ana freshman right fielder Carissa Aguilar tugged a ball to right field. Garcia charged the ball, picked it up, and quickly threw the ball to first base for an athletic second out.

“We practice that a lot actually, it’s all muscle memory at this point,” said Garcia.

The crowd screamed as if it were the game-winning out. With so much more game to be played, it was clear the sophomore was going to deliver a special performance. Garcia had four putouts as the ball kept coming to her corner of the field. She also led all hitters at the dish with a 2-3 performance that included two singles and a run scored.

“Whenever I see a ball come to me, I’m 100% [doing] all it takes to get that out,” said Garcia. “If it’s in the air or on the ground, I’m looking one step ahead before the ball is even hit.”

Hornets sophomore right fielder Alyssa Garcia makes a nice catch to keep the Dons off the scoreboard. (Matthew Gonzalez)

In the seventh inning, Santa Ana started to challenge Fuentes by aggressively swinging away to try and get back into the game. In the final frame, the Dons tallied a trio of hits to put their first run on the scoreboard. Fuentes was behind the count on each batter in the last inning, as fatigue started to set in and affect her command. With two outs, the potential leading run was at the plate with runners on the corners.

Pitching coach Brian Iseri called a time out and went to the mound to talk to the reigning OEC MVP about the final out. Iseri said the time out was to remind Fuentes of the lead and that it’s just one more out and the game is over.

“I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous,” said Fuentes. “ I just kept thinking, give them something they can miss or hit so my defense can make a play for me.”

Fullerton College sophomore utility player Serina Vue talks with fellow teammates during a stoppage in play against the Dons. (Matthew Gonzalez)

The Hornets travel to face Palomar College on Wednesday for a make-up game. Fullerton then plays their final game of the regular season on the road at Santa Ana. The Hornets have a perfect record in OEC play, and Aguirre states the goal is to remain undefeated before they go into playoffs. Their postseason opponent will be announced over the weekend.

“We should be compiling a lot more than five hits,” said Aguirre. “Everything’s about going back to the drawing board, making adjustments. When we play Palomar tomorrow, it’s going to be a whole different ball game.”

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About the Contributors
Jamal A. Walker
Jamal A. Walker, Staff Reporter
Jamal Walker is a sophomore at Fullerton College in his first semester for The Hornet, writing for the Sports and Arts and Culture desks. Prior to studying at Fullerton College, Jamal served in the Army as a Public Affairs Specialist for four years and received an honorable discharge. He served in Colorado and South Korea and worked in three different newspapers. Jamal has been accepted to CSUs Long Beach, Northridge and Dominguez Hills. He hopes to graduate with his degree in journalism and get credentials to cover the Olympics in 2028 in Los Angeles. Outside of school, Jamal loves baseball and supports his hometown team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Matthew Gonzalez
Matthew Gonzalez, Staff Photographer
Matthew Gonzalez is a third semester staff photographer for The Hornet. Aside from being a staff reporter, he is also into sports photography. Matthew's passion in sports comes from watching and covering football, soccer, and basketball. During his free time he enjoys working out or listening to music. He is a huge Taylor Swift lover. Matthew plans on transferring to Cal State Northridge next fall to get a bachelors degree in Journalism.  His end goal is to work for a newspaper company.

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    Raymond HollidayApr 24, 2024 at 6:27 pm

    Me and the boys thought the SAC pitcher was great; a real athlete It took everything the Hornets had to dig out those 3 runs.

    Go Hornets