The Owls’ long-awaited triumph over Cypress College during a two-day playoff moved Citrus’ record to 26-12 and advanced the team to the “Super Regionals” for the first time in program history.
Led by head coach Jackie Boxley, the team knocked the Chargers out of the postseason with back-to-back victories on May 4 and 5.
On May 4, the Owls beat Cypress 10-7, putting runners on bases in each of the seven innings. In the fourth, Victoria Baltazar doubled up the middle and Kawehi Ephan hit a home run to give Citrus a 6-2 lead. The Chargers came back, scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take it right back at 7-6.
But at the top of the seventh, Citrus held it together, with Gonzalez hitting a home run to left field and Lockett smashing a double for the final lead 10-7.
On May 5, the team played even harder, finishing the Chargers off with a 9-0, six-inning win.
The Owls scored six runs in the third inning. Kawehi Ephan reached on a fielder’s choice and Victoria Baltazar scored on the catcher’s error. Sara Moore singled to left field and Jessica Gonzalez scored. After Moore, Tellez hit a RBI single that put the Owls up 3-0. Next up, Lockett and Carissa Bender both hit RBI singles. Finally, Arianna Sanchez hit a fly ball that gave the Owls their 6-0 lead.
Sanchez completed the shutout to cap off the rout.
“We had the momentum the entire time and we just had a great game,” said sophomore outfielder Katie Cunningham. “We were asleep for a while and they woke us up and we’re not done.”
“I think the game went very well. Cypress beat us pretty bad in the fall and we had a little bit of revenge,” said freshman infielder Sara Moore. “We came out and got it done so we could move on to the next level for our team.”
Boxley thought the Owls played strongly. “They got after it and just crushed them. They knew we had them on their heels, and the girls really played hard.”
With their success at Cypress, the Owls will advance to the Super Regionals in Riverside where they will compete in a four team, double elimination tournament. College of the Canyons and Santiago Canyon College will also be in attendance.
Citrus will take the first pitch against the Riverside Tigers at Riverside City College on May 10 at 5:30 p.m.