CHULA VISTA, Calif. — No. 9 College of the Canyons has advanced to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Super Regional for a second straight year after defeating No. 8 Southwestern College 2-0 in a best-of-three series to kickoff its playoff run.
Canyons (30-11-1, 13-5) needed eight innings to get past the Jaguars in Friday's series opener, eventually winning by a 4-3 score. On Saturday, the Cougars posted a 10-5 victory to conclude the series.
Freshman Heidi Ludy was the game one hero for COC after driving in the winning run with an RBI-single that scored Sienna Vannoy in the top of the eighth inning. Ludy finished the game 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base.
COC was only able to score one run through the first six innings, taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a home run from sophomore Melanie Abzun.
Sophomore pitcher Alexis Ramirez (13-7) got the win after seven innings of work, allowing just five hits and three walks while fanning three batters.
Ramirez was temporarily relieved by Sarah Wilson in the sixth inning, but reentered to pitch the bottom of the eighth. Wilson was charged with three runs on three hits and two walks.
After seeing the Jaguars tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, COC responded in the form of a two-run single by Ramirez that scored Azmarheen Anderson and Danielle Chatman to put the score at 3-1.
Southwestern then answered right back with a pair of RBI singles in the home half of the seventh to force the game into extra inning.
Jaguars pitcher Yasmine Jameson (22-8) threw all eight innings, allowing six hits, walking five batters and striking out five in the losing effort.
Game two featured much more offense, including a four-run third inning from the Cougars that saw Melanie Abzun connect on her second home run of the series. Vannoy and Anderson also recorded RBIs in the inning to put COC ahead 4-0.
COC would never trail, tacking on three more runs in the fifth to go ahead 7-2 and three more in the sixth.
Abzun finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs, two RBIs. Ludy also had another big outing, driving in three more runs with her inside the park home run in the fifth inning.
Chatman went 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a pair of runs. Anderson and Katie Clinkunbroomer both had two hits apiece.
Freshman Katie Taix (6-1) went the distance, scattering 13 hits and walking four batters. She was charged with four earned runs.
Canyons will next face No. 1 seed and Orange Empire Conference champions Cypress College (42-0, 21-0) in the opening game of the Super Regional at 1 p.m. Friday, May 12.
Cypress defeated No. 18 Allan Hancock College in the SoCal Regional round.
The Cougars and Chargers will be joined by No. 4 Palomar College (28-11) and No. 5 Santiago Canyon College (31-10) in the double-elimination tournament. All four teams won their opening round playoff matchups 2-0.
The winner of this weekend's Super Regional will advance to the CCCAA State Championship tournament as one of two schools representing Southern California. A full CCCAA Super Regional bracket can be found here.
COC previously faced Santiago Canyon in a road doubleheader on March 4. The Cougars won the first game 12-1 in five innings, and tied 11-11 through six innings before that contest was called due to darkness.
Canyons also split a road doubleheader with Palomar back on April 22. In that series, COC dropped the opener 13-4, then rallied from three runs down to win 9-5 in the finale.
COC and Cypress have not yet met this season.
Cypress College is located at 9200 Valley View Street.
Entry to CCCAA playoff contests is $12 for general admission and $8 for students and staff with ID, senior citizens and children under 12 years old.