Freshman Micayla Aguilar hit a walk-off double to drive home Melanie Abzun as No. 13 College of the Canyons defeated No. 15 El Camino College 5-4 at Whitten Field on Wednesday.
Canyons (3-0), playing in its home opener, was forced to battle back from an early 2-0 deficit after El Camino (3-1) sophomore Haley Reed launched a two-run home run in the first inning.
But in the home half of the first, in a preview of what was to come later, Aguilar doubled home Abzun to put the Cougars on the board at 2-1.
Aguilar finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIS.
In the second it was Abzun’s turn, as the sophomore center fielder hit a two-out single to score catcher Lauren Jimenez from third and tie the game at 2-2.
Abzun finished her day 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Canyons took its first lead of the game in the fourth inning after freshman Katie Clinkunbroomer roped a single down the left field line to bring Jordan Vallejo around to score and make it a 3-2 affair.
The Cougars were able to protect that lead thanks in part to the efforts of sophomore pitcher Alexis Ramirez, who managed to keep the Warriors off balance for the better part of five innings.
Ramirez pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the second, then held El Camino scoreless over the next four frames. But in the sixth, Ramirez lost control of a pitch that hit ECC second baseman Kassandra Hernandez to put the go-ahead run on base. A triple from Kattya Calderon then tied the game back up at 3-3.
After sophomore Sarah Wilson entered the game in relief of Ramirez, El Camino leadoff batter Raelani Camez singled in the runner from the third to put the Warriors ahead once more at 4-3.
In the Cougars’ big seventh inning Clinkunbroomer walked to lead off the inning. Abuzn then singled to put two on. A wild pitch moved both the runners into scoring position before left fielder Azmarheen Anderson walked to load the based for for shortstop Danielle Chatman.
Chatman then punched a sacrifice fly deep enough into center fielder to tie the game at 4-4, and a few pitches later Aguilar ended the game with her walk-off double.
Chatman finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. Clinkunbroomer was 2-for-2 with a walk, a run and RBI.
Wilson (2-0) was credited with the win after surrendering a lone hit and striking out one batter in her 1 and 2/3 innings of work.
Ramirez took the no decision after lasting 5 and 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs on six hits and and six walks. She also struck out two.
Canyons will have a week off before returning to action in a home doubleheader vs. San Diego Mesa College on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Game times are scheduled for 1 & 3 p.m.
— Story and photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information