Canyons Softball Claws Back for 9-8 Win Over L.A. Mission In WSC Opener
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons pulled out a thrilling 9-8 extra-innings victory over visiting L.A. Mission College on Tuesday, with sophomore Julia Fuentes belting a two-run home run in the sixth before finishing the Cougars' comeback with a walk-off RBI single.
Canyons (6-1, 1-0) has now won five straight after downing the Eagles in Tuesday's Western State Conference (WSC), East Division opener. L.A. Mission (5-4, 0-1) had its three-game streak snapped at the hands of the Cougars.
COC trailed 2-0 after the first inning but was able to knot things up with a pair of runs in the home half of the second. The back-and-forth affair saw L.A. Mission bring home runs in the fourth and fifth to open things back up at 4-2.
Gigi Garcia's RBI triple in the fifth inning kept the Cougars in the game at 4-3, but the Eagles responded with a big three-run inning that seemed to put things out of reach at 7-3 heading into the seventh inning.
Alyssa Silva started the Cougars' comeback with a one out single, then stole second ahead of Ashlynn Heck's single. With runners at the corners head coach John Wissmath attempted a double steal with Silva coming home to score at 7-4 and Heck advancing to second.
Fuentes' clutch home run then brought home Heck and made it a 7-6 game. The big knock was the second of the year for Fuentes, tied for the club lead.
With the bases clear, Garcia tripled to deep right field to chase L.A. Mission starter Samantha Flores from the game.
Two batters later it was Allyson Melgar with a game-tying RBI that plated Garcia and tied the game at 7-7.
Melgar started the game at DH and later moved into the circle for the final three innings in relief of COC starter Lexy Angulo.
Angulo allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits and two walks through five innings of work, striking out four along the way.
With the game now in extra innings both teams had the luxury of starting with a runner at second base. From there, back-to-back infield errors for the Cougars allowed L.A. Mission to retake the lead at 8-7 before Melgar struck out the side.
In the home half of the inning Macayla Paragas laid down a perfect sac-bunt to advance the runner to third. Memorie Muñoz then promptly tied the game at 8-8 with an RBI single that scored Schayln Rhambo.
Muñoz was able to advance on a fielder's choice off the bat of Silva that turned into an Eagles infield error that put runners on the corner. Heck then drew a one-out walk that brought Fuentes back to the plate, setting up the dramatic walk-off victory.
Melgar (3-1) earned the win after allowing one hit, one walk and two earned runs. She also struck out four batters.
LAMC reliever Daryanna Ductoc (1-3) took the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, in one inning of work. Flores, who pitched at Canyons as a freshman in 2022, allowed seven earned runs on eight hits and four walks. She struck out six COC batters.
COC is currently ranked No. 15 in the state according to the most recent California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association (3CFCA) poll released Feb. 15.
- Julia Fuentes — 2-for-5, HR, walk-off single, R, 2 RBI
- Gigi Garcia — 2-for-3, BB, 2 3B, R, RBI
- Ashlynn Heck — 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 SB
- Allyson Melgar— 2-for-4, RBI / W (3-1), 3 IP, H, BB, 2 ER, 4 K
- Memorie Muñoz — 1-for-4, RBI, game-winning run
- Alyssa Silva — 2-for-5, R, RBI, 3 SB
Canyons is back on the road for a conference game at Citrus College on Thursday, Feb. 16. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
COC then continues conference play vs. L.A. Valley College at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. That game will be broadcast to fans free of charge on the Cougars Sports Network.
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.
—Photo by Kyle Kawamoto/COC Sports Information