"Sure, someone might call this a moral victory, just because we played pretty well at times, but I'm not going to say that," said Lerno. "I think, playing the way we did against a top-caliber team like Palomar, we showed signs of just how good we can be. It's just a matter of bottling that up and carrying it over to the next game."
Taking the loss for IVC (5-5 PCC) was Jenny Briseño, who pitched three innings, gave up five hits, five earned runs, walked five and struck out one.
After holding the visitors in check through the first two frames, Briseño lost some of her control in the third, allowing Palomar to score four more runs.
"I think I made it harder on my defense, walking as many people as I did," said Briseño. "Palomar's the type of team that will capitalize on errors or any mistakes you make and that's what happened.
"All throughout practice last week and (Monday), we were talking about this game and how bad we wanted it," said Briseño. "We really wanted to come in and upset them. We didn't want to go down in five innings like we have before, but we just couldn't get it done."
Briseño kicked things off for the Arabs in the second inning with a walk and advanced after a ground out and a Heather Aguilar walk. Briseño then scored on a Mercy Gonzalez bunt.
Aguilar added the team's second run, scoring on a passed ball to knot the game 2-2.
After the Comets scored four against Briseño in the third, Maria Hansen-Perez came in and held the visitors scoreless over the next two innings.
But the Arabs hurt themselves as they committed four of their five errors in the sixth and seventh, allowing Palomar to tack on seven more runs.
Down 13-2 after six and a half, the Arabs added two runs as Aguilar and Christina Santos both singled and scored on a Hansen-Perez double.
IVC finished with five hits.
"The first couple of innings we played real solid all around. We were hitting the ball, we played good defense and Jenny was pitching a pretty good game, but we just couldn't keep it going," said Aguilar, who went 1-for-2 with two runs. "We made some mistakes that really ended up hurting us and pretty much did it for us. But we just have to learn from that and move on.
"We still have five games left in conference and if we can play the way we're capable of, I think we can make a run at the postseason," said Aguilar. "This season is not over by far. We can't dwell on this game. We just have to put this game behind us and focus on the next team we play."
IVC plays at 1 today at San Diego City College.