By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – Top-ranked Cypress softball (38-0, 19-0 OEC) kept their undefeated season alive with a 4-3 victory over No. 5 El Camino (32-6, 10-0 SCC) in extra innings at Cypress College on Saturday afternoon. The victory notched legendary Head Softball Coach Brad Pickler his 1,300th career win, the most in CCCAA history. The Chargers helped Coach Pickler reach the milestone just one game after setting the program record for consecutive wins in a season.
The Warriors entered the game having won 23 consecutive games, which was the second longest active winning streak in the state.
Destiny Vasquez (22-0) received the win for Cypress after allowing 3 runs, including 2 earned runs, on 8 hits, while collecting 9 strikeouts in 8.0 innings in the circle. Sophomore outfielders Melanie Okazaki (3-for-4, RBI) and Nicole Wise (2-for-3) led the Cypress offense.
Haley Reed (5-4) received the loss after giving up 4 runs, including 3 earned runs, on 7 hits in 7.1 innings.
Cypress opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Wise drilled a lead-off double to left field and advanced to third after an Emma Walker (0-for-2) SAC bunt. Destiny Vasquez (1-for-3, RBI) slapped an RBI single to left field to score Wise. Vasquez would score on an RBI double to center field from Okazaki to give Cypress a 2-0 lead.
The Warriors answered with runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to take a 3-2 lead. Haley Reed (1-for-4, RBI) put El Camino on the board in the fourth with an RBI single to right field. In the bottom of the fifth, pinch runner Jasmine Krauss attempted to steal second base for the Warriors. In an attempt to catch Krauss stealing, the ball was thrown over the head of the Cypress second baseman, allowing Krauss to take third base. A throwing error by the Chargers' center fielder, attempting to get the out at third, allowed the runner to score and tie the game 2-2. Kamryn Fisher (2-for-4, RBI) gave El Camino the lead in the with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Trailing 3-2 with 2 outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Chargers managed keep their undefeated season alive. Okazaki stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. The El Camino third baseman mishandled the throw, allowing Okazaki to round third and beat the tag at home plate to send the game into extra innings.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, the Chargers loaded the bases with 1 out and Jenny Vasquez (1-for-4) advanced home to score the winning run on a wild pitch.
The Chargers will look to continue making history when they return to action on Monday, April 24 on the road against Saddleback College at 3:00 p.m.
Stay connected with the Chargers through social media. Follow Cypress College Athletics on Twitter @CypressChargers. Check in with the Chargers on Facebook/CypressChargers and on Instagram @CypressChargers.