Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chargers Blank Gauchos

Cypress scores eight runs in the fifth and sixth to mercy-rule Saddleback 8-0.

Jessica Reichner
Cypress, Calif. - After four scoreless innings by the leagues top-two offenses, Cypress College (19-4, 10-1) erupted for eight runs in the final two innings to blank Saddleback College (21-6, 9-3) 8-0 in an Orange Empire Conference matchup at Cypress on Wednesday.

With the victory, the Chargers clinched the season series over the Gauchos, and solidified their stranglehold on first place in the OEC standings after an impressive win that put them a game-and-a-half ahead of Saddleback at the top of the league rankings. The mercy-rule shortened game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning after Cypress tagged Danielle Santos (17-2) for five runs to make it 8-0. Cypress won the previous matchup this season between the two squads 7-1, and has now dominated the Gauchos by a 15-1 margin in two combined OEC games.

Cypress starting pitcher Courtney McGee (9-2) picked up the victory after tossing six innings of shutout ball, and allowing just four hits to the Gauchos all afternoon. Saddleback's Santos (17-2) got a reality check against the leagues top hitting team when she gave up eight runs (six earned) on six hits and four walks, in 5.2 innings of work.

Sophomores Jessica Reichner and Chelsea Jewett both went 2 for 4 at the plate. Reichner continued to swing a hot bat for the Chargers, ending the day with three RBI that all came on a bases-clearing triple to right center in the game-ending five-run rally. Reichner also scored twice in the contest, including the fourth run of the inning in the bottom of the sixth when Arren Nunez drove her in with a single to right. Nunez would eventually come around to score the decisive eighth and final run of the game on an RBI single by Jewett. Nunez finished with a pair of runs scored to go with her one RBI. Kristina Victa accounted for two Charger runs, while Melissa Mankey and Natalia Morales each scored on Reichner's triple in the sixth.

After four shutout innings by both pitchers, Cypress finally got to Santos in the bottom of the fifth when Victa, Nunez and Reichner all scored to put Cypress ahead 3-0 over a Saddleback squad that continued to struggle at the plate in its half of the sixth.

The Cypress bats were just beginning  to warm up in the bottom half of the inning.

After a quick out to start their at-bat in the sixth, the Chargers loaded the bases with their best hitter stepping into the box. Reichner didn't dissapoint the fans in attendance when she smoked a three-run triple to right center that sent Victa, Mankey and Morales home to make it a 6-0 contest at the time. Reichner and Nunez would come in to cross the plate with the final two runs of the contest in the Chargers 8-0 Orange Empire Conference win over Saddleback College.

After two dominating performances against Saddleback this year, Cypress College showed the OEC's second place Saddleback Gauchos that they have a lot more work to do if they hope to win a conference crown.

Cypress plays again on Friday when Santa Ana College comes to town for a 2 p.m. matchup at Cypress College.

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