Highlights to follow.
Valencia – It had to end sooner than later.
The College of the Canyons softball team lost its first Western State Conference game of the season with a 9-1 loss against Citrus in game two of a double header, after a 3-2 win in game one.
The day started the way the Lady Cougars (9-10, 4-1) were hoping it would with a come back win against a conference rival. Down by one in the last half of the sixth sophomore Karissa Hartwig roped a line drive off the third baseman into left scoring Bryanna De La Torre from second to knot it up at two.
With one out freshman Caitlyn Zimmerman lined one off the pitcher and was thrown out at first, advancing the runners to second and third with two out. All the very next hitter had to do was stand by and watch as Amy Droege crossed the plate on a wild pitch which ended up being the game winning run.
COC started the scoring in the bottom of the first with a homerun from the number two hitter Karla Lira. It was the freshman’s second home run of the week giving her confidence in the batters box.
“I feel relaxed and I have a team behind me that can hit as well,” said Lira. “If I keep doing my job and they’ll do theirs we’ll keep winning.”
The Cougars pitcher Hartwig worked her way out of a bases loaded jam with two out in the seventh to wrap up the Cougars fourth straight conference win of the season. Hartwig gave up two runs on five hits while striking out three in seven innings in the first game.
“Hartwig is a gamer,” said Wissmath. “She knows where to put the ball and things like that are going to happen. She’s learning every single time and she keeps getting better and better every time out.”
The Lady Cougars were undefeated heading into a double header against Citrus after upsetting Bakersfield in a double header last week and taking care of business against Santa Monica on Tuesday.
The newest member, pitcher Alisha Paiz, made her first start of the season and it didn’t go as well as she would have hoped. Paiz made it into the third inning giving up just one run but couldn’t make it out of the frame, allowing 5 runs. COC trailed Citrus 6-0 after three innings. Amanda Martin relieved Paiz in the third and pitched the fourth before Hartwig was called upon to finish the game in the fifth.
Wissmath decided before the second game to rest Hartwig and give Paiz her first start in the circle for COC.
“We looked at her pitch count and decided she was tired and need a little bit of a rest,” said coach Wissmath. “It’s also good for her to see what other girls are doing in the circle as well.”
The Lady Cougars will play their last home game until April 19th against L.A. Valley college at 2:30 p.m.