Eight Lady Cougars Honored with All Conference Awards

by Brian Lewis, Staff Contributor 409 views0

The College of the Canyons softball team had eight players named to the Western State, Blue Division All-Conference team with one player being named to the All-Southern California team.

The lone sophomore Karissa Hartwig and freshman infielder Bryanna De La Torre were the two Lady Cougars named to the first team for the 2011 squad. In the circle Hartwig led the conference with 36 games pitched, 31 started, 194 innings pitched, 18 wins, and she was second in strikeouts with 100 just short of first by one. Hartwig also boasted an earned run average of 2.91 which was good for fifth in the conference. The Sophomore was also the clean up hitter for COC this season and finished with a .383 batting average, with six homeruns good for a tie in conference, and 26 runs batted in.

The other first team honoree, De La Torre, also made the All-Southern California team as a freshman infielder. After expecting to be the starting center fielder ¬†before the season began, De La Torre was moved to the infield and it didn’t have any side effect on her bat. The West Ranch graduate was third in conference with a .450 batting average, second in hits with 59, first with 39 runs scored, first with 18 doubles, and first in stolen bases with 28. She also added three triples, two homeruns, and 23 R-B-I’s to her first season at COC.

Four freshman Lady Cougars were named second team All-Conference including catcher Amy Droege, and infielders Karla Lira, Caitlyn Zimmerman, and Samantha Martin. Droege hit .283 with three homeruns, 30 ribbies, and 12 doubles. She was runner up to Bakersfield’s Annette Diaz who was named first team as a catcher.

Lira played mostly first base for COC in 2011 but did finish the year as the Cougar short stop when De La Torre slid over to third and Martin moved over to first base. Hitting all over the COC line up Lira put up a .286 average with four long balls and 20 R-B-I’s.

The other half of head coach John Wissmath’s “twin towers” along with Lira, Zimmerman, was voted by the players as the teams defensive player of the year. With the stick the freshman hit .269, driving one out of the yard and she scored 17 runs.

Martin was Wissmath’s number five batter all year and she proved to be solid protection for Hartwig hitting behind her. Martin not only hit .303 but she also had five round trippers and she drove in 26 teammates.

Two of the three Cougar outfielders were awarded with honorable mention honors. After De La Torre vacated center field for the infielder, freshman Kiana Duran stepped into the spot and ran down a lot of balls headed toward the fence. Duran hit .222 with 14 R-B-I’s and 20 runs scored. Freshman Julie Nixon was the other honorable mention. Nixon played mostly right field for COC and hit .290 with 18 runs scored and she stole seven bases.

The Lady Cougars finished 2011 with a 20-19 overall record going 13-5 in conference good for third place behind Citrus and conference champion Bakersfield.