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COC softball knocked out of playoffs

Cougars lose 2 games to Riverside to end season

Posted: May 12, 2013 6:27 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2013 6:27 p.m.
 

It isn’t the kind of repeat College of the Canyons softball was looking for.

The COC Cougars saw their season come to a close at exactly the same point it did last year, one win short of a state finals appearance.

And to add to the coincidence, the season-ending loss came against the same team, Riverside City College, in the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Super Regional.

The Cougars sealed their fate by losing back-to-back games to the Riverside Tigers, 11-1 and 10-0 on Sunday at Riverside City College. Both games were called after five innings.

Riverside was the No. 1 seed in the eight-team Super Regional bracket, but No. 4-seeded COC had a chance to pull the upset with a single win on Sunday afternoon.

The day didn’t start off well for the Cougars (34-11-2) as poor fielding helped Riverside score four runs in each of the first two innings off COC starter Kimmie Lockhart to make it an early 8-0 score.

Of the 11 runs Lockhart gave up in the game, just five of them were earned. COC committed four errors.

After losing the first game, Savannah Gutierrez started in the circle for COC, but ran into trouble in the third and fourth innings, giving up 10 runs off 12 hits in those two frames.

During that stretch, she gave up six home runs to Riverside (42-4).

Lockhart relieved Gutierrez in the fourth inning and pitched the final 1 1/3 innings of the game.

For the Tigers, Chelsea Ponce pitched all the way through both games on Sunday, allowing one total run off four hits.

On Saturday, COC defeated Riverside 6-5 in eight innings to put the Cougars on the cusp of an appearance in the four-team state championship bracket.

Almost a year ago to the day, COC faced a similar situation in a Super Regional that took place at College of the Canyons.

Needing a win to advance, Riverside also won that game 5-3 on May 13, 2012.

This marks the end of a two-year run for COC, which has won the last two Western State Conference, Blue Division titles in addition to its successful playoff runs.

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