By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
WALNUT, Calif. — No. 8 College of the Canyons had its season come to an end at the hands of No. 2 Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday, as the Cougars lost a best-of-three series 2-0 in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Super Regional.
Canyons (28-16, 16-0) opened up an early 3-0 lead over Mt. SAC (37-7, 10-2) in Friday's series opener, but could not hold the lead in what turned out to be a 5-4 win for the Mounties.
COC plated an unearned run in the first inning when Heidi Ludy reached base on an error that allowed Katie Clinkunbroomer to score at 1-0. Two innings later it was Jordan Vallejo's two-run single that put the Cougars in the driver's seat at 3-0.
But the Mounties answered back with a five-run fifth inning that started with a solo home run and ended with a two-run infield error that put the game at 5-3.
Sienna Vannoy got the Cougars back in the game with a solo home run of her own that cut the lead at 5-4, but Canyons couldn't get any closer.
COC starter Joy Veloz (11-7) took the loss, allowing five runs, three earned, in six innings of work. She issued three walks and also struck out three batters.
Mt. SAC pitcher Briana Wheeler (24-5) earned the win after striking out 10 batters over seven innings. She walked four and allowed three earned runs.
Veloz got the nod again in game two and kept the Mounties at bay for the better part of three innings. But a pair of fourth-inning home runs, and a two-out rally ended in a 4-0 Mt. SAC advantage.
That was all the run support Wheeler needed, as the sophomore scattered five hits and allowed two walks to keep Canyons quiet.
Mt. SAC got four more in the sixth to end things early at 8-0 and advance to the CCCAA State Championship tournament.
COC ends its season in the Super Regional Round for the third time in as many years. The Cougars were also eliminated by Mt. SAC in the 2016 postseason.
Canyons was crowned champion of the Western State Conference (WSC), East Division before defeating No. 9 Cerritos College in the opening round of the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs. The Cougars had 11 players earn all-conference honors. The class was highlighted by WSC, East Division Player of the Year Danielle Chatman, who also earned California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association (3CFCA) All-State Team and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) California Junior College South Region All-American honors. COC sophomore Heidi Ludy was also a 3CFCA All-SoCal team honoree.
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.
—Photo by Sarah Ehrsam/COC Athletic Department