Story and photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons has advanced to the second round of the postseason for the third time in as many years after defeating No. 9 Cerritos College 2-0 in a best-of-three series in the opening round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs. No. 8 Canyons was a 12-4 winner in Friday's series opener, then came back to down the Falcons 10-5 on Saturday at Whitten Field.
Cerritos added another run in the third to briefly put the score at 3-1. But in the bottom of that inning Chatman tied the game at 3-3 with a two-run home blast.
Canyons took its first lead at 4-3 the following frame with Rena Edwards' sacrifice fly that plated Fenald. Katie Clinkunbroomer later recorded an RBI on a bunt single that allowed Carly Moreno to score for a 5-3 COC advantage.
Vallejo added another run with a fifth-inning sac-fly that plated Chatman and put the game at 6-3. Canyons kept the rally going by capitalizing on a Cerritos error that once again allowed Vannoy to come around and score. Kayla Yamana added to the attack with an RBI-single that broke the game wide open at 8-3.
Cerritos slugger Briana Lopez clubbed a no-doubt two-run home run in the sixth inning that got the Falcons a bit closer at 8-5. But the Cougars promptly answered back with two-run double by Vallejo that scored Heidi Ludy and Chatman for an eventual 10-5 final score.
Chatman finished the game 4-for-4 with a home run, triple, two RBIs and three runs. Vallejo's three RBIs were a team-high. Vannoy was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and Clinkunbroomer went 2-for-3 with a walk, run and RBI.
COC right-hander Katie Taix got the start and went the first two innings before leaving the game with the bases loaded in the third. COC head coach John Wissmath then gave the ball to Joy Veloz who limited the Cerritos rally to just one run. Veloz (11-5) pitched the final five innings to get the win, allowing just the two-run homer to Lopez and striking out seven batters.
On Friday, Canyons needed just six innings to secure the victory, scoring 11 runs over the final three innings to bounce back from a 3-1 deficit. The Cougars pounded out 16 hits and forced the Falcons into five fielding errors to take the opener.
Yamane helped spark a fourth-inning rally with an RBI-double that put the game at 3-2. In the next at bat, Valeria Rivas tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI-double of her own.
Chatman started the fifth-inning attack with an RBI-double that put COC ahead 4-3. The Cougars added two more in the inning and never trailed again. The exclamation point came in the form of back-to-back home runs from Vallejo and Vannoy in the sixth innings. From there, a two-run single by Clinkunbroomer and an unearned game ended the contest early at 12-4.
Ludy finished game one 3-for-5 with a pair of runs. Vallejo was 2-for-3 with three runs and a pair of RBIS.
Megan Wilson (6-2) earned the win for her two and 2/3 innings of work. Veloz closed out the final inning and got credited with a save.
The No. 8 Cougars will next face No. 2 Mt. San Antonio College in the CCCAA SoCal Super Regional round, to be played May 11-12 in Walnut.
Canyons and Mt. SAC split the season series 1-1 after the Cougars came away with a 4-3 victory in the regular season finale. The Mounties defeated COC 1-0 at Whitten Field on April 6.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.