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College softball: Cougars chop down Glendale

COC continues winning ways with two victories

Posted: April 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons players Ruby Herrera, left, and Amy Droege celebrate against Glendale College on Tuesday at College of the Canyons.

The College of the Canyons softball team entered Tuesday trailing Glendale in the Western State Conference, Blue Division.

They left Tuesday with both a doubleheader sweep and a big tiebreaker in hand.

Starting pitcher Kimmie Lockhart dominated the first game in a 6-2 COC win, and the Cougars mounted a big rally to win the second game 8-7 on Tuesday at College of the Canyons.

With the sweep, COC (28-2-1 overall, 9-2 WSC) finishes the regular season 3-0 against Glendale, which dropped to second in the conference standings.

The Cougars had already clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker after the first game. But they weren’t about to lose the second.

“We just came together as a team,” Lockhart said. “We got a spark, and after that there was no stopping us.”

Canyons starter Alicia Paiz struggled over the first two innings, giving up six runs on seven hits. She eventually settled down and pitched through the top of the fifth inning, after which COC trailed 7-3.

“I have faith in her,” said COC head coach John Wissmath. “She’s got that sophomore mentality, knowing when to keep her composure.”

The bats picked up Paiz in the fifth. Adriana Correra drew a walk with one out, and Lockhart and Shay Romero followed up with back-to-back singles.

Andrea Brackpool hit a sacrifice fly down the first-base line to score Correra, and Heidi Hinklin came through with a huge double that plated Romero and pinch runner Julie Nixon.

Nikki Haslock drove in Hinklin with a single and tied the score at 7-7.

“You let teams in, they’ll beat you,” said Glendale head coach Dave Wilder. “Down 7-3, they just chopped, chopped and chopped away.”

In the sixth, Ruby Herrera scored the game-winning run on a double by Correra, which was a welcome feeling for the freshman.

“Adriana had been in a bit of a slump,” Wissmath said. “But I always tell them, even if you’re in a slump, you’re probably going to get another at-bat, so be ready.”

Lockhart entered the game in the sixth and retired all six batters she faced to earn the win.

In the first game, Lockhart went the distance and gave up two runs on five hits with six strikeouts.

“I was just taking it pitch by pitch, trying to get ahead,” Lockhart said. “The defense kept me pumped up.”

The Cougars scored twice in the first inning and three more times in the third to establish a comfortable lead that Glendale (20-10, 5-3) couldn’t crack.

Jenny Wunderlich had two hits and scored twice, while Amy Droege had a hit, a run and a walk. Caitlyn Zimmerman scored an insurance run in the sixth inning.

Wissmath expressed his happiness with the depth of his lineup, not just the top.

“The thing I was most impressed with was the second half of my lineup,” he said. “My five through nine (hitters) did a nice job.”

The Cougars now host Bakersfield at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in a game that will have important implications in the WSC, Blue Division race. The two teams split a doubleheader at Bakersfield on March 13.



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