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Offense carries COC softball to win

Posted: April 5, 2014 10:40 p.m.
Updated: April 5, 2014 10:40 p.m.

College of the Canyons' Adrianna Correa (10) is met by teammates Kaitlyn Shreves, center, and Nicole Maliniemi after her home run at College of the Canyons on Saturday.

Saturday’s matchup between the College of the Canyons and Santa Ana College softball teams was about as far from a pitchers’ duel as you could get.

After three lead changes and a tie, the Cougars were finally able to take the lead for good and hold on for an 8-5 win at their home diamond in the second game of a doubleheader.

It made up for COC’s 3-0 loss to Ventura earlier in the day.

But the big win came against Santa Ana, the state’s sevent-ranked team.

With the game tied at 5-5, Ashley Sandoval-Colon led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a double and reached third on a passed ball. One out later she was brought in on an RBI single by Karlee Bickford.

Then catcher, Adrianna Correa, homered to extend the Cougars’ lead to the final 8-5.

In all, COC (16-13) had 11 total hits and six for extra bases.

“We were just aggressive at the plate,” said Correa who finished 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three runs scored and two RBIs. “Once somebody sparks it, we feed off of that. Once we get that rally going, we’re going to build off that.”

Santa Ana (24-8) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the first, but Cougars center fielder Venise Elisara made sure that lead was short lived with a three-run blast over the center field wall in the bottom of the inning.

The Dons added two more in the second only to have it countered by a two-run double by COC’s Nicole Maliniemi in the third.

Santa Ana then tied the game with one out in the fourth when Cougars pitcher Milana Casillas walked in a run.
But she was able to pitch herself out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out the next two batters she faced.

Casillas nearly pitched a complete game but was taken out with one out remaining in the seventh inning. Through 6 2/3 innings she struck out six, allowed seven hits and five runs.

Morgan Simmons came in and finished the game with three pitches and earned the save.

“It was a great win for us. I was really excited,” said COC head coach John Wissmath. “It was good for our (playoff position). And coming out with a win like that, going into a couple big games we have against Citrus, we needed that.

“They’re a good hitting ball team and they play good core defense but we had good, clean base hits and a couple of big home runs.”

The Dons were led by Katlyn Harvey, who had a RBI triple in the first, and Sabrina Perez, who had a two-run home run in the second.

“We popped up too much, especially with runners on base,” said Dons head coach Jessica Rapoza. “But you can learn from every loss and make sure that when you go back to practice you work on the things that you failed at to instill confidence in those same situations.”

COC will host a doubleheader with Citrus on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m.


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