SANTA ANA, Calif. – Three runs weren't enough to keep Santa Ana down in Tuesday's Orange Empire Conference opener, as the Dons came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Orange Coast Pirates by a score of 4-3.
Orange Coast got off to a fast start in the first inning with a three run home run to take an early lead. Santa Ana adjusted by inserting pitcher Kali Kitsinis to weather the storm and keep the game within reach.
Kitsinis didn't disappoint, as she went six and two third innings with three strikeouts to hold Orange Coast scoreless for the rest of the game.
The Dons offense started clicking in the second inning when Gianna Gutierrez singled down the left field line to bring home Jeana Gonzalez for Santa Ana's first run. In the fifth, SAC tacked on another run to make it a 3-2 game after Desirae McCormick hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Karlee Rivera.
The score remained at 3-2 until the Dons rallied to take the lead in the top of the seventh. Makayla Peralta started it off with a walk and then scored the tying run on Rivera's double to right center field. Soon after, McCormick came up clutch with a two out double for her second RBI of the game, bringing in the go ahead run to put the Dons up 4-3.
Santa Ana closed it out by keeping the Pirates off the board in the bottom half of the inning to secure the win and improve to 4-4 overall and 1-0 in the OEC. The Pirates drop to 7-5, 0-1.
Next, the Dons will compete in the Citrus College Tournament starting on Friday at 3:00 p.m.