By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College softball team (1-0) opened the season with a 6-0 victory over Rio Hondo College (0-1) at home on Wednesday. The Chargers entered the contest ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 2 in Southern California.
Reigning 2016 OEC Pitcher of the Year, Vanessa Ledesma, got the opening day start for Cypress. Ledesma (1-0) earned her first win of the season, notching 6 strikeouts, while allowing just 2 hits and 1 walk in 5.1 innings. Alexis Zavala (2-for-4, RBI) and Emma Walker (1-for-1, 2RBI) powered the Cypress offense.
Brenae Martinez (0-1) received the loss for the Roadrunners, allowing 9 hits and 6 earned runs in 6 innings pitched.
Both teams got off to a slow start as the game remained 0-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Zavala got the offense going in the bottom of the fourth with a hard hit triple to right field. Sydney McCollum (0-for-3, RBI) brought in the first run of the season with a grounder to second base, scoring Zavala.
The Chargers added 2 runs in the fifth before putting the game out of reach with 3 more runs in the sixth inning. Melanie Okazaki (1-for-3, RBI) roped an RBI double to centerfield and advanced to third on an error by the centerfielder. Zavala followed that up with an RBI double to give Cypress a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Kiani Puailoa (1-for-2, RBI) made it a 4-0 lead after a groundout scored pinch runner Kellee Ross before Walker added the finishing touch with a 2RBI single to left field.
No. 3 softball will return to action on the road Friday, Feb. 3 at 2:00 p.m. against Cerritos College. Cypress will return home Saturday, Feb. 4 for a double-header where they will take on Bakersfield at 10:30 a.m. followed by Antelope Valley College at 2:30 p.m.
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