Jumping out to a lead in the bottom of the first inning, College of the Canyons softball never slowed against Santa Barbara Community College, winning the first game of a double-header, 9-4 on Saturday afternoon at COC.
Thanks to some nifty base stealing and throwing errors by the Vaqueros, Katie Clinkunbroomer and Heidi Ludy, who went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs, lit up the scoreboard in the first putting the momentum on their side.
“It pumped us up big time,” said Hart grad and first baseman Sienna Vannoy. “We were all super excited to be able to get that lead coming in and it got us up and got us cheering a lot more.”
COC (18-11 overall, 10-0 Western State Conference) was glad to have righty Joy Veloz back in the circle as she is recovering from injury.
“I felt good,” Veloz said about her pitching. “I mean, I’ve been throwing all week so my arm was a little sore. I have a torn rotator cuff so it’s a little hard coming back from that.”
Pitching four scoreless innings, Veloz gave up two hits and dealt two strikeouts.
“Joy has been really stepping up her game,” said Cougar head coach John Wissmath. “She looks a lot better. She’s getting in a lot better shape and I just really love her presence in the circle.”
Adding another three runs, one each in the second, third and fourth innings, the Cougars’ lead grew to 5-0.
The Vaqueros (11-13 overall, 3-5) were able to make the game interesting by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth, narrowing the Cougars’ lead to 5-3.
“We had to have a couple of adjustments made because of injury,” Wissmath said. “(Danielle) Chatman hurt her knee a little bit and we had to put Ludy over there at short and she hasn’t played that at all this season, but she’s such a good player and confident player we like to put her in those spots.
“You could see there was a little bit of miscommunication there and they got a couple runs.”
In a strong sixth inning, Canyons scored another four runs. Kayla Yamane, Sammie Burleson, Rena Edwards and Heidi Ludy all had RBIs.
Sienna Vannoy finished the game going 3-for-3 with an RBI. Rena Edwards also went 3-for-3 with an RBI.