The College of the Canyons softball team’s season came to an end after losing the seventh game of the Super Regional on Sunday to Riverside College 5-3.
“I’m really proud of these girls,” head coach John Wissmath said after his team was eliminated. “They busted their tail all season long, we worked very hard to get where we were at.”
The No. 1 Cougars (42-5-1) defense let them down in the bottom of the sixth inning allowing the three decisive runs to score. Errors by freshman second baseman Nikki Haslock and sophomore catcher Amy Droege allowed two runs to score, Riverside added a third on an RBI single.
The Cougars struck first in the second inning on an RBI single by sophomore Shay Romero scoring Droege from second after her one out double. The Cougars led 1-0 after two innings.
With one out in the top of the third inning sophomore shortstop Ruby Herrera tripled to right field. Riverside proceeded to walk freshman Adrianna Correa which allowed freshman pitcher Kimmie Lockhart to drive in Herrera from third, giving COC a 2-0 lead going to the bottom of third inning.
After getting shutout in game six by COC 8-0, Riverside got their first run of the day on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Chelsea Craw. Riverside cut the COC lead to one at 2-1 after three innings.
After getting roughed up in the first game of the day, Riverside pitcher Nichole Zink shut down the Cougars bats until the seventh inning. In seven innings Zink allowed three earned runs on seven hits and struck out four.
After the defensive melt down in the bottom of the sixth, COC they trailed 5-2 going into the seventh inning with the top of the order coming to the plate. Freshman Jenny Wunderlich led off the inning with a popup to the short stop for the first out. After going three for four in the first game on Sunday, Wunderlich failed to get on base in the second game. The next two batters for COC, Herrera and Correa, followed with walks. They moved up to second and third after stealing bases while the Zink was arguing a call. Lockhart was able to bring in Herrera on a sacrifice fly to centerfield but Droege ended the game and her COC career with a popup to first base.
“Coming here is the best decision I’ve ever made,” Droege said with a look of disappointment on her face after the game. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, it’s been a great two seasons.”
Riverside advances to the final four in Bakersfield May 18-20. The final four will consist of College of the Siskiyous and Sierra College from the north and Cypress College and Riverside College from the south.