Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
More than a week passed since College of the Canyons plated a season-high 19 runs in a home win vs. L.A. Valley, but the Cougars still did not stopped hitting.
Canyons hung another football score on the board Thursday, this time downing West L.A. College 15-3 in five innings at Whitten Field to remain unbeaten vs. Western State Conference, East Division opponents.
COC (10-8, 4-0) has now won three straight, and five of the last six, thanks in large part to the Cougars’ hot bats and steady pitching. Canyons is tied with Antelope Valley College for first place in the conference standings.
Freshman Kayla Yamane was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and three RBIs to help lead the attack. Yamane has now collected six RBIs in her last four at-bats. Jordan Vallejo was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, one of five players with a multi-RBI day.
“I think we have a pretty good offense,” said COC softball head coach John Wissmath. “We have a little bit of power, we can put the bunt down and we’ve got some speed. So we’ll always compete in that category.”
Indeed, over the last six games Canyons has recorded 26 extra base hits and eight stolen bases. The Cougars are currently batting .352 on the season while getting on base at a .434 clip.
But during conference play those numbers have swelled, with COC scoring 55 runs, batting .465 and posting a .552 on-base percentage to lead the WSC in all three categories.
“Winning that game vs. Citrus College, that helped us a lot,” said Wissmath, referring to COC’s 6-2 conference victory over the Owls back on Feb. 27, the first win in the current three-game streak. “That gave us a little bit of that confidence we needed.”
While the hitting has been the highlight, the pitching has been just as important, despite the Cougars’ posting double-digit run totals in back-to-back games.
On Thursday, COC sophomore Joy Veloz made her first start of the season and earned the win with a three-inning effort that included four strikeouts.
Right-hander Katie Taix (6-3) has also carried a heavy load for the Cougars by winning her last four starts and reliever Megan Wilson has recorded back-to-back scoreless appearances.
“Right now I’ve got confidence in all my pitchers,” Wissmath said. “Getting Joy back is going to give our team another nice lift.”
Here’s the box score.
Canyons was scheduled to host No. 4 state-ranked Mt. SAC (17-1, 4-0) for a doubleheader on Saturday, with games beginning at noon and 2 p.m. barring any potential weather delays.
“I can’t wait to see what Mt. SAC looks like,” Wissmath said. “They will give us a better gauge of what we still need to improve.”
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.