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College softball: Cougars find the right lineup

Hartwig leads COC in a doubleheader sweep

Posted: March 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

For most of the non-conference season, College of the Canyons softball had been shuffling around its wealth of young players, testing different lineups and positions.

Now that Western State Conference, Blue Division play has began for the team, the rotation looks pretty secure.

It worked well enough for the Cougars to come up with key hits late in both games of Thursday's doubleheader sweep of Bakersfield at COC.

The Cougars won the first game 3-2 with a walk-off base hit in the eighth inning and took game 2 by a score of 5-4 thanks to a three home runs hit by Karissa Hartwig, the team's only sophomore.

Her work both at the plate and in the circle was paramount to the wins Thursday, but COC head coach John Wissmath gave plenty of credit to the fact that the freshman-heavy team is learning how to play together.

"I told the girls, ‘It's not how you start, it's how you finish," Wissmath said, referring to the shaky 5-9 record coming into the day.

Against Bakersfield (7-8, 0-2), finishing was the Cougars' secret to success.

Hartwig's eventual game-winning two-run home run came in the fifth inning after COC (7-9, 2-0) trailed 4-3. The other two were solo shots coming in the first and third innings.

All three were hit to nearly the same spot over the left-center field wall.

"For a little bit before conference, I was struggling seeing the pitch," Hartwig said. "Today, I was just able to wait for the pitch I wanted. I was less aggressive, but when my pitch came, I was more aggressive."

In game 1, first baseman Karla Lira knocked in shortstop Bryanna De La Torre to get the extra-inning victory.

De La Torre scored two of the three runs in the game and knocked in the third on an RBI double.

Hartwig was also the lone pitcher on the day for COC, picking up a pair of wins in her 15 total innings of work.

She allowed a combined six earned runs and 13 hits on the day while working her way out of multiple jams in the second game.

The worst came in the second inning when the Renegades loaded the bases with no outs but couldn't score.

Hartwig had a strikeout and then induced a fly-out and line-out to halt the threat.

"If I overthink things, I tend to do worse," Hartwig said. "So I try to not think about it and pretend like nothing is going on."

Outside of Hartwig, third baseman Samantha Martin recorded an RBI double in the second inning of game 2.

The Renegades did most of their damage in a three-run fourth inning, which included a two-RBI triple hit by center fielder Kaitlin Toerner.

 

 

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