The No. 8 regionally ranked College of the Canyons softball team improved its conference record to 3-0 by sweeping a doubleheader from L.A. Mission College at Ray Whitten Field on Tuesday.
Canyons (10-7, 3-0) has won three straight after losing a pair of games to No. 1 ranked Santiago Canyon back on Mar. 5.
COC starter Ashley Russo (5-4) was brilliant on Tuesday, earning the win in both games while tossing a combined 11 innings of nearly scoreless softball for head coach John Wissmath.
In the first game Canyons picked up a 5-0 victory behind the power of Russo’s nine strikeouts and some timely hitting from outfielders Nicole Maliniemi and Jennifer Metcalf.
It was Maliniemi who broke the 0-0 tie in the second inning by knocking an RBI double that scored her outfield counterpart Metcalf.
Later, with the Cougars ahead 2-0 in the sixth inning Metcalf singled through the gap to score Gabrielle Padilla and Sarah Wilson, making it a 4-0 ballgame.
Maliniemi then promptly tripled to the wall in center field to score Metcalf and give the Cougars’ their 5-0 final score. She finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Metcalf was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Russo scattered seven hits and walked one batter to aid the winning cause.
In the second game Russo returned to the circle, and continued to dominate, but it was the Canyons lineup that made the moist noise in COC’s 14-1 five-inning victory.
The Cougars jumped all over L.A. Mission with two runs in the first inning, and seven more in the next frame to put the game out of reach early on.
Wissmath sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning and received the production he was looking for with five players recording RBIs.
Those totals included two-RBI hits from Julianna Carlos and Emily Smith, and run scoring plays from Cheyenne Steward, Gabrielle Padilla and Kiana Holder.
Holder finsiehd the game 2-for-3 with four RBIs, a walk and a run scored. She also went 1-for-2 with a run and a walk in the first game.
Padilla led Canyons with three hits, three runs and two RBIs in the second game. Steward, Sarah Wilson and Bailey Bodkin was had two hits apiece, with Bodkin whacking a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Steward finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
Wilson also had a big day for the Cougars, finishing a combined 4-for-6 with four runs, two RBIs and a walk in the two-game set vs. the Eagles.
Canyons will next travel to face Citrus College at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17.