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College softball: Turning south

COC drops first game of Southern California Super Regional

Posted: May 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons pitcher Kimmie Lockhart delivers against Southwestern College during Friday’s California Community College Athletic Association Super Regional game at COC while first baseman Shay Romero looks on.

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The College of the Canyons softball team’s first trip to the California Community College Athletic Associations Super Regionals didn’t start off on quite the note the Cougars hoped.

No. 8-seeded Southwestern College jumped on Canyons starting pitcher Kimmie Lockhart for seven runs in the first inning in a 10-7 victory on Friday afternoon at College of the Canyons during the first game of the four-team double-elimination tournament.

Southwestern entered the Super Regionals after sweeping No. 3 seed Cerritos, while Canyons defeated No. 16 Santa Barbara City College.

The winner of the tournament will travel to the state finals in Bakersfield, which will consist of two Southern California and two Northern California teams.

With the loss, the Cougars fall to the consolation bracket, where they face Saddleback in an elimination game today at Noon.

“I still like our chances,” said Canyons head coach John Wissmath. “We’ve got to take it one game at a time.”

Things got away from the Cougars early on Friday, as Briana Albrektsen and Gabrielle Beasley each hit three-RBI doubles in the first, and Lockhart walked Jessica Ramirez to force in a run to put the Cougars in an early 7-0 hole.

“That’s a great start. It’s never good enough, of course,” said Southwestern head coach Jenny Thompson. “Our goal was to score one every inning to keep momentum. That’s always the key,”

The Jaguars didn’t hit their goal, though, as Canyons attempted a comeback, scoring two in the bottom of the first and three in the second to pull within 7-5 after two.

Lockhart helped herself out at the plate, doubling home two in the first and finishing the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

COC’s Adriana Correra hit her 20th home run of the season — a two-run shot in the fifth — after Southwestern added three in the top half of the inning.

But the Cougars managed just one baserunner over the final two innings before Beasley struck out Andrea Brackpool to end the game.

“We did chip away a little bit, got some more (runs),” Wissmath said. “But you can’t walk so many.”

Lockhart walked seven in seven innings pitched, allowing nine hits and 10 earned runs.

“I was nervous and I guess I was a little more emotional than I should have been,” the freshman said. “I don’t think I was there for the team today.”

Now, a Cougars team which entered the Super Regionals as the No. 1 seed has its backs against the wall, one loss separating it from the end of the most successful season in school history.

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