By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons continued its conference unbeaten streak on Tuesday, downing Antelope Valley College 13-4 in Lancaster to clinch the Western State Conference (WSC), East Division Championship.
Canyons (23-12, 14-0) still has two conference contests remaining on the schedule. But with the Cougars now two games up on AVC, having already defeated the second-place Marauders twice this season, Tuesday's win represented the championship clinch.
"I couldn't be prouder of our girls," said COC head coach John Wissmath, who won his 300th career game with the program earlier this month. "We've secured the conference title, but our goal is still to finish 16-0 and ride that momentum into the postseason."
In the third, Danielle Chatman teed off on team-leading 10th home run of the season, which also ranks third in the WSC. That made it a 5-0 lead and the Cougars were off and running, literally. COC also swiped 11 bases in the contest.
Starting pitcher Joy Veloz (9-4) tossed her first complete game of the season and was able to keep the Marauders at bay for the better part of seven innings to earn the win. She was charged with three earned runs and allowed just three hits, but issued eight walks.
Those free passes helped AVC spark a three-run rally in the third inning which cut into COC's early advantage to make it a 5-3 ballgame.
Chatman was back at it in the sixth inning, driving in two more runs on an RBI single. She finished the game 2-for-4 with a walk, two stolen bases, two runs and four RBIs.
Vannoy and Yamane also plated runs in the inning to put the game at 8-4. Vannoy was 3-for-4 with a walk, swiped two bases, scored a pair of runs and recorded three RBIs.
The Cougars returned home as WSC, East Division champs for the first time since 2016. The conference championship is the 15th in program history and the seventh under Wissmath.
Canyons will next host Victor Valley College at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Cougars also have a non-conference doubleheader vs. Palomar scheduled for Saturday, April 21. Those games are slated to start at noon and 2 p.m.
COC will close out its home schedule vs. Barstow at 2:30 p.m. on April 24, then travels to Mt. San Antonio College for the regular season finale at 4 p.m. on April 25.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube