Saddleback College freshman Kaylee Cranmer gets set to throw a pitch. Cranmer and her teammates could not pull out a win in two consecutive games and were subsequently eliminated from the playoffs, ending the season. (Niko LaBarbera)
The Saddleback College softball team was eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend after falling in a three-game series to Santiago Canyon College.
In the first game of what became a three-game series, the Gauchos came out with fire and won 6-5.
After the Hawks got a run in the second inning, the Gauchos retaliated with six runs in the bottom of the third to take a 6-1 lead. Sophomore Samantha Lima was a catalyst in the big inning, smashing a three-run home run to center field.
Santiago got another run in the fourth inning to make it 6-2. The Gauchos and freshman pitcher Kaylee Cranmer then shut down the Hawks offense until the top of the seventh inning.
Santiago battled and came up with three runs with two outs in the seventh to make the score a nail-biting, 6-5. With runners on first and third Cranmer finally got a break getting a game-ending ground out to seal the victory for the Gauchos and giving them a 1-0 series lead.
“They are a tough ball club and we will be a in battle tomorrow against them,” Cranmer said. “I think they will really come out tomorrow with a vengeance to beat us.”
Santiago did indeed come out with a vengeance in the second game of the series and shut out the Gauchos 4-0 to tie the series at 1-1.
Saddleback only mustered six hits and were shut down by Hawks pitcher Riley Nahrwold.
Santiago also got help offensively from Alexa Guerra who hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
After a 45 minute break, the Gauchos and Hawks played the third game of the series to determine who would advance to the next round.
The Hawks came out with tremendous pressure in the first two innings giving them a quick 7-0 lead. Cranmer, who had pitched in the first two games of the series, simply was not herself and neither was the rest of the team.
The Hawks got an offensive charge from A.J. Carranza and Madison Smith who both hit home runs. Smith also had another hit and three RBIs in the game.
The Gauchos never put up a real fight after the second inning, only getting three hits in the game and were blown out 10-2 in five innings.
The Gauchos end the season with an overall record of 27-14. Santiago Canyon moves on to the Super Regional next weekend.