Prior to this week, Pasadena City College freshman pitcher Austyn Helmuth was searching for her first collegiate victory after five appearances this season. By the end of the week, Helmuth completed a whirlwind 6-day period in recording three wins, including two shutouts, and a save.
Helmuth, from San Dimas High, is a crafty righthander who can mix a pin-point fastball with a scintillating change-up that has fooled many hitters this season. She hurled a 7-inning, 5-hit shutout over Bakersfield, 6-0, on Sunday as PCC split two games at Cypress College. Pasadena lost to the host Chargers in the opener, 5-1, that snapped the team's 4-game win streak.
On Saturday, Helmuth pitched three inning of shutout relief to earn the save for starter Vivian Little at Southwestern, 2-1. Helmuth started the week by throwing four innings of 3-hit, 1 earned run ball in relief to record her first win v. East Los Angeles on Feb. 19. She followed that with a 5-inning, 1-hit mercy blanking over Rio Hondo on Feb. 21.
Her line for the week was outstanding: 19 innings, only 11 hits, two runs, one earned, four walk, four strikeouts and a microscopic ERA of 0.37.
Against Southwestern, the Lancers were helped by a super diving catch by centerfielder Gabi Perez on a sinking line drive in the third inning. In the fourth, PCC took the lead with a RBI single by third baseman Samantha Diaz followed by a sacrifice fly by shortstop Kaylee Medrano. Helmuth relieved Little (4-0) with a runner on second and no outs in the fifth, but got out of the situation with three straight outs on her way to the save.
Against Cypress, the Lancers were limited to just four hits and scored their only run a RBI sacrifice squeeze by catcher Nathalia Velasquez.
Backing Helmuth's Bakersfield shutout was battery mate catcher Jennie Chacon, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Perez was 2-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base, and two runs scored and both second baseman Shynia Torrez (a double) and Diaz at designated player were 2-for-3.
Coach Monica Tantlinger's Lancers (7-4 overall) return to South Coast Conference play on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in a 3 p.m. game at Chaffey College.