Myranda Morales delivered a walk-off hit in the opener then added two hits and two RBIs the second game to help the Hancock College softball team sweep a doubleheader from Moorpark Tuesday and clinch a share of the Western State Conference’s North Division title.
It marked the team’s third conference title in the last four years under head coach Scia Maumausolo.
The Bulldogs won the opener 4-3 and the second game 6-2 on their home field in Santa Maria.
Hancock finished the regular season 19-5 in conference and 27-13 overall. Moorpark fell to 15-8 in league and 18-9-1 on the year.
Hancock grabbed the early lead in the opener with a three-run fourth inning.
Emily Gantt hit a two-run, pinch-hit double that drove in Bailey Killough and Nakaila Fuggs with the game’s first runs. Christabel Chavez followed with a single that allowed Sierra Martinez, who pinch ran for Gantt, to score to give Hancock a 3-0 lead.
Moorpark got two runs back in the fifth against Killough, who walked three and hit another batter in the inning. Shannon Peterson relieved Killough in the sixth and allowed an unearned run to the Raiders.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when Larrissa Ostrander hit a one-out double and moved to third on a single from Isabella Partida. Maggie Dasis walked to load the bases setting the stage for Morales, who sent a base hit to centerfield to end the first game.
Ostrander went 3-for-4 in the win, while Gantt, Chavez, Killough, Morales and Partida each had one hit.
Killough earned a no-decision after allowing two runs and three hits over five innings. The freshman walked eight and struck out five. Peterson earned the win with two innings of relief.
Moorpark scored in the top of the first to take the early lead in the second game.
Hancock responded with a two-run double in the bottom half that drove in Ostrander and Partida to give Hancock a 2-1 lead.
The Raiders tied it with a Lacee Smollen home run in the third.
The Bulldogs took the lead for good in the fourth when Fuggs singled home Gantt to put Hancock ahead 3-2. In the fifth, Gantt took care of adding insurance runs by herself with a two-run home run, her sixth of the season, that made it 5-2. Hancock added another in the sixth when Fuggs sprinted home on a wild pitch.
Morales and Gantt went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI apiece. Fuggs, Peterson and Ostrander had one hit each. Peterson earned her second win of the day with a complete game. The sophomore allowed six hits and two runs. She struck out one and walked one.
Hancock finished tied for first with Ventura to secure its third conference title in the last four years. Both teams earned automatic berths into the CCCAA Regionals.
Hancock will receive the conference’s top seed because the Bulldogs won two of their three meetings with the Pirates.
The brackets will be released on Saturday, April 29. The first round of Regionals runs May 5-6.
Cuesta 7, Hancock 4
Cuesta baseball kept its Western State Conference title and post-season hopes alive with a win over Hancock College.
The Cougars jumped to a 3-0 lead in the third inning and added another run in the fifth, but the Bulldogs came back to tie the game.
Hancock’s Chris Taitague crushed a two-run home run in the sixth inning to cut the Cougars’ lead in half and then the Bulldogs manufactured a pair of runs in the eighth to tie the game.
Cuesta led off the eight with a double by Hunter Reade and he gave the Cougars back the lead on Jake Read’s squeeze.
The Cougars pinch hit Aidan Nagle, who had been scratched from the starting line-up just prior to game, and he smashed a two-run homer to leftfield to give the Cougars a three-run lead and some breathing room.
Relief pitcher Cole Tucker closed out the final frame to earn the victory.
Robbie Silva and Jeff Wilson each had two of the Cougars nine hits, while Taitague added single and another RBI to his home run to lead the Bulldogs.
The Cougars and Bulldogs end the regular season Thursday at John Osborne Field in Santa Maria.