IRVINE — A festive atmosphere prevailed at the start of Tuesday's Pacific Coast League softball game at University High.
The game against visiting Corona del Mar was the school's "game of the week," and a large student population checked out the action. University wore pink uniforms, in honor of breast cancer awareness.
The Trojans had to be just tickled pink with the game's result, too. Senior Joselynn Solis threw a two-hitter and struck out 10 as University blanked Corona del Mar, 7-0.
University (6-11, 1-2) notched its first league win, something that Corona del Mar (9-9, 0-3) is still looking for.
The Sea Kings have lost 53 straight league games since beating University on May 6, 2008. They were undone Tuesday, as has been the case in several of their past losses, by their defense.
CdM committed five errors. Five of the Trojans' seven runs were unearned.
"They know that this isn't what we expect," CdM Coach Carly Smith said after a long postgame talk with her team. "At CdM softball, we expect more from ourselves. This was a rough game, but what's great about it is that we can come back to practice tomorrow and work on it, and only become better from this ... Once we get that first [league] win, then our momentum will change.
"I think that we were just too focused on getting on [base], and when we weren't getting on, we kept getting frustrated. We tried to make some adjustments at the plate; the girls just weren't on their game today. You've got to hand it to Uni's pitcher too."
The game was 2-0 after two innings before University erupted in the bottom of the third. The hosts brought 11 players to the plate, scoring five runs.
Mia Maher led off with a bunt single, stole second and third and scored on a double by Angela Duenas. After Solis singled to put runners at the corners, Smith changed pitchers, inserting junior left-hander Sydney McKeown.
Kim Dennin was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, but McKeown appeared ready to limit the damage. She speared a line out for the first out of the inning before the next batter, Michela Boarnet, hit a grounder to shortstop.
But the throw to first base was wide. All three University runners would score.
Before the inning ended, the Trojans added an RBI single by Beth Telahun, giving them a very comfortable lead.
"Our key today was to put the ball in play hard and make them make plays," University Coach Julie Hoshizaki said. "We knew we had to make things happen ... we didn't really smash the ball, but they put the ball in play. We know CdM's been winning a few preseason games. They have some hitters, so we knew we had to show up and play our game."
The Trojans added another unearned run in the fifth.
CdM got a runner into scoring position twice. With one out in the top of the fourth, Karley Johnston was hit by a pitch. Jordan Calvin singled with two outs to put runners at the corners, but Solis induced a groundout to second base.
Calvin reached on an error to start the seventh, and stole second. But Solis retired the next three batters, ending the game.
Senior Mylie Wilson had the other hit for CdM, on an infield single.
"I thought she did a great job," Hoshizaki said of Solis. "She threw strikes, and I'm happy there were no walks. She did exactly what we needed her to do, throw strikes and let them hit it, and she got a few strikeouts in there too."
Corona del Mar played with just one bench player Tuesday. Freshman Brooke Franson, the cleanup hitter at the start of the season, has a fractured pelvis. Franson, one of two travel-ball players on CdM along with McKeown, is most likely out for the rest of the season.
CdM plays host to Beckman on Thursday.
Pacific Coast League
University 7, Corona del Mar 0
SCORE BY INNINGS
CdM 000 000 0 – 0 2 5
Uni 105 010 x – 7 5 2
Wilson, McKeown (3) and Oberreiter; Solis and Dennin. W – Solis, 6-11. L – Wilson, 4-6. 2B – Duenas (Uni).