COC Insider: Cougars softball sweeps double-header

College of the Canyons freshman Micayla Aguilar lines up her pitch in the first game of the Cougars’ home doubleheader vs. L.A. Mission College on Tuesday. COC swept both games from the Eagles to close out its final regular season home games in winning fashion. Emma Doyle/COC Sports Information

College of the Canyons swept its home double-header against Los Angeles Mission College on Tuesday, with the Cougars celebrating “Sophomore Day” in style by way of an 8-7 victory in the opener and a 4-1 advantage to close things out in the final regular season home games of the year.

In game one, COC survived a late-inning rally by the Eagles who made things interesting with six runs in the top of the seventh. COC sophomore Alexis Ramirez was eventually called in to record the final out in preserving the victory for starter Katie Taix.

Taix (5-1) lasted four and 1/3 innings, walking four and striking out six while allowing one earned run.

The Eagles did most of their damage against pitcher Sarah Wilson who looked strong then got into some trouble before being removed towards the end of the LA Mission rally.

The Cougars opened up a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Azmarheen Anderson and Micayla Aguilar both recorded RBI singles.

Anderson also knocked in two more runs with an RBI triple in the fourth inning. She finished the game 3-for-3 with a run and three RBIs.

Sienna Vannoy later plated two runs with a sixth inning double to deep center field.

Canyons trailed 1-0 in the early goings of game two before scoring a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

This time it was Ramirez (11-5) who pitched the full seven innings to get the win. The lone Eagles run come via a wild pitch in the third innings that allowed the Mission’s runner to advance from third. Ramirez finished the game with five strikeouts and walked two batters.

In the home half of the fourth, Bailey Bodkin tripled to deep center field to score Vannoy. Alexis Avila then brought Bodkin home with a sacrifice fly that gave COC a 2-1 lead.

In the next inning, Aguilar knocked in another run with an RBI double, and later came around to score on an RBI single by Heidi Ludy that made it 4-1.

Canyons (26-9-1, 12-5) is currently second in the Western State Conference, East Division with one conference contest remaining on the schedule. The Cougars are ranked No. 10 in Southern California according to the most recent statewide coaches poll.

COC travels to Glendale College for the final conference contest of the season at 2:30 p.m. today.


COC picked up an important conference win against visiting Citrus College on Tuesday, winning 15-5 to take the first game in a three-game series behind seven strong innings from freshman starter Jacob Lopez.

Canyons (23-11, 13-2) scored six runs in the first inning and added two more in the second to chase Citrus starting pitcher Peter Eltapence after just one and 1/3 innings.

Calvin Estrada got the scoring started for COC with an RBI-single that set the table for Chris May’s three-run blast in the next at bat. Two batters later James Scanlan launched a two-run home run to right field and the Cougars were in control 6-0.

The second inning brought more of the same, with Cole Kleszcz continuing his scorching streak at the plate with his state-leading 15th home run of the season.

Kleszcz, who is batting .405 on the year, has now homered in seven of nine games this month to go with a 17-game hit streak that dates to March 14.

On Tuesday, the freshman went 4-for-6 with two doubles, three runs and four RBIs. He finished the game a triple shy of the cycle.

Citrus (18-15, 8-5-1) eventually got on the board with a three-run shot from shortstop Marcos Campos that made it 8-3. Campos, who proved to be a thorn in the side for COC, homered again in the eighth and finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

As a team, Citrus only recorded six hits in the game with the Owls struggling to do much against Lopez (4-2). The lefty struck out six batters and walked two, with the only damage coming by way of Campos’ first home run.

Lopez has now won back-to-back games after defeating Merced College 4-3 back on April 11.

The Cougars also scored runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, forcing the Owls to burn through four pitchers in the game.

May finished 4-for-6 with two runs and four RBIs. Scanlan went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run and four RBIs.

Anthony Lepre and Kris Keach were both 2-for-5 on the day.

Canyons and Citrus will continue their series at 2:30 p.m. today. The action will then shift back to Cougar Field at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Men’s Golf

COC continues to distance itself from the rest of the Western State Conference field, winning its fourth straight tourney with a five-man score of 362 at Spring Valley Lake Country Club on Monday.

As has been the case through much of the season, the Cougars finished ahead of second-place Ventura College (367), third place Santa Barbara City College (375) and fourth place Citrus College (389).

Canyons is now five points ahead of Ventura in the conference season standings, and 12 points ahead of third place Santa Barbara.

Meanwhile, Jaeyeol Kim’s season-best individual score of 69 topped the field to give the sophomore medalist honors for the third straight week.

Kim and teammate Ricky Hoefert both shot a 74 to take medalist honors at Oakmont Country Club on April 10. Kim was also the low man at the WSC event hosted by Canyons at TPC Valencia on April 3, with his even par round of 72.

With his most recent performance, Kim now leads the WSC individual standings, with two conference tournaments still to play.

The Cougars had three golfers shoot identical scores of 73 on Monday, with Ben Campbell, Dan Taplin and Michael Lindgren all finding similar success in navigating the course.

Hoefert and Travis Fay both turned in rounds of 74, with the latter score eventually dropped to produce a five-man total.

Canyons will next compete at Antelope Valley Country Club on Monday.

Track and Field

The track and field program competed at the annual Beach Invitational at California State University at Long Beach last weekend, with three Cougars returning home after establishing school records.

The Cougars were competing against a field of student-athletes primarily representing four-year schools from across the nation.

Highlighting the day for COC were the performances by sophomores Díani Ellis, Kaitlyn Matthews and Samiyah Hawkins.

Ellis was the top individual finisher for the team, with her fifth-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase. Her time of 11:14.04 established a new school record, and also represents the top time in the state, so far, this year, among California Community College Athletic Association student-athletes.

Matthews also etched her name into the COC record books with a mark of 1.70m in the high jump, to tie the record previously set by teammate Jasmine Hall. That placed her 13th in the event.

Hawkins established a new school record with a throw of 42.01m in the discus to rank 43rd on the day.

The men’s 4x400m relay team of Tochukwe Eze, Blake Beeler, Slade Cavallaro and Leo Lambert III finished third in the field of four with a time of 3:19.61.

Lambert also placed 21st in the 400m at a time of 49.06.

Canyons will next compete at the WSC prelims on Friday at Bakersfield College.

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