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COC softball inches closer to state

Cougars knocks off No. 1 Riverside seed in Super Regional

Posted: May 11, 2013 11:24 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2013 11:24 p.m.
 

Once again, College of the Canyons softball is one win away from making the state finals.

COC won a back-and-forth game 6-5 over Riverside, the No. 1 seed in the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Super Regional on Saturday at Riverside City College.

Playing as the No. 4 seed in the regional, the Cougars (34-9-2) scored a run in the top of the eighth inning and hung on for the extra-innings, upset victory.

That, coupled with COC’s win Friday night, 6-1 against Santiago Canyon, puts the Cougars within one win of winning the regional and advancing to the CCCAA state championship tournament.

The state finals will put the winners of two Southern California regionals and two Northern California regionals against each other in a four-team, double-elimination bracket from May 16-19 in Bakersfield.

To get to that point, COC will have to defeat the winner of Saturday night’s Santiago Canyon-Riverside game.

On Saturday, the Cougars had to work a little extra to get past Riverside.

Tied at 5-5, Melissa Reyn scored on a wild pitch to give Canyons a 6-5 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Cougars pitcher Kimmie Lockhart shut Riverside down in the bottom half of the inning, inducing a double play ground out by Courtney Brown to end the game.

“Right now Kimmie Lockhart has just been masterful on the mound,” said COC head coach John Wissmath. “She has just done a phenomenal job. Our battery (with catcher Karlee Bickford) has been outstanding.”

The duo got COC going early on.

Bickford brought in two runs with a two-RBI double in the first, before Kimmie Lockhart singled in a run to give COC a 3-0 first-inning lead. Riverside tallied two runs in the bottom half, and after both teams scored once in the second, pulled even with a fourth-inning score to tie the contest at 4-4.

Canyons briefly took a 5-4 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Valerie Impe, but Riverside again tied the score in the sixth when Natalie Barrios homered to left center field to set up the extra-inning dramatics.

The Cougars will play the Santiago Canyon-Riverside winner today at noon. If the Cougars lose that game the two teams would play a second, winner-take-all contest.

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