CYPRESS, CA – The No. 2-seeded Cypress College softball team (36-7, 20-1) took care of business in their best-of-three CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoff Series against No. 15 Southwestern (27-16, 13-3). The Chargers opened the series with a disappointing 5-2 loss on Friday, but were able to bounce back in two Saturday win or go home games, defeating the Jaguars 8-2 in game two, followed by a hard-fought 2-1 victory in game three.
Cypress will host Orange Empire Conference foe, Riverside City College, in their upcoming CCCAA Super Regional Playoff Series on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. The Tigers handed Cypress their lone loss in OEC play this season, while the Chargers took the season series, 2-1.
The Chargers struggled in Friday's series opener, as the Jaguars jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. Despite the Chargers' 11 hits and the Jaguars' 4 errors, Cypress was unable to capitalize on their opportunities, coming up empty with the bases loaded on two occasions as they went on to lose game one, 5-2.
The Chargers came ready to play facing elimination on Saturday. Sophomore Gabrielle Munoz (2-for-3, 4RBI) got things started with a 2 RBI double in the top of the first, giving Cypress an early 2-0 lead. Cypress took advantage of the Jaguars' mistakes this time around, adding to their lead on a wild pitch in the fourth and three unearned runs in the fifth, extending their lead to 6-0.
Freshman pitcher Eliza Sandoval (W, 15-1) was lights out, collecting 6 strikeouts, while allowing just 1 run in the sixth inning, on 7 hits in 5.2 innings of work.
The Chargers responded after Southwestern's first run of the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, going on to win 8-2, and force a game three.
The series' third and final game came down to making plays on defense. The Chargers put two runs on the board in the first inning as Munoz drilled an RBI single to center field, followed by an RBI single to right from Sandoval.
Sandoval (W, 16-1) again got the start in the circle, allowing just one run in the sixth, before OEC Pitcher of the Year Janea Brannen (Sv 2) earned her second save of the season in 2.0 innings of relief.
Clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, with the season on the line, Brannen got it done in the circle as the Chargers took the game and the series, 2-1.
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