Owls use strong fifth inning to defeat Canyons

Citrus freshman pitcher Danielle Dominguez winds up for a pitch on April 6 at Citrus College. San Bernardino defeated Citrus 5-2. Photo by Edward Ramirez / Clarion

The Citrus College Owls defeated the College of the Canyons Cougars 11-3 on April 13 at the Owl’s Nest.

Citrus came into the game with a 20-12 overall record and a 9-3 conference record after sweeping a doubleheader against Victor Valley College on April 11. The Cougars came in with a 24-8-1 overall record and a 10-4 conference record.

The Owls and the Cougars had already met twice for a doubleheader on March 27 at College of the Canyons with the Cougars winning the first game 8-0 and the Owls winning the second game 6-4.

The Cougars got on the board first in the top of the second inning after pitcher Alexis Ramirez hit a single to left, running freshman Sienna Vannoy to home. Second baseman Katie Clinkunbroomer scored on a throwing error, giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead.

The Owls bounced back in the bottom of the second and tied the game. Freshman Seanna Jimenez hit a double to center field to bring in sophomore Karissa Martinez and Garcia.

The Cougars had trouble in the top of the third inning, unable to get a run and keep the lead before the Owls took over in the bottom of the inning.

Sophomore Jade Nua hit a ground rule double to left field and sophomore Celine Spathias hit a single after an error by Ramirez. Freshman Jocelyn Alvarado singled to bring in Nua to make the game 3-2 for the Owls.

In the top of the fifth inning, outfielder Heidi Ludy walked to load the bases and Sarah Wilson was walked, allowing freshman Danielle Chatman to score to tie the game, 3-3. The Cougars would not score for the rest of the game.

Cougars’ head coach John Wissmath said he saw the trouble his team faced in the game against the Owls.

“We had to hit and we had to pitch,” Wissmath said. “Those were the two things. We had to hit, we didn’t hit. We got to pitch a lot better than what we did today.”

Citrus had their best inning in the fifth, scoring six runs, which started with Ortiz hitting a single to run in Alvarado. Nua doubled to bring in Martinez and Jimenez and freshman Molly Montell walked to run in batter Ortiz. Alvarado hit a single to score Nua and Preciado hit a single on an error by Chatman, allowing Spathias to score and give the Owls a 9-3 lead.

Owls’ head coach Jackie Boxley credited her team as a unit, but said Jimenez and Alvarado led the team to victory.

“They all did something awesome,” Boxley said. “Seanna Jimenez, she was 3-3, three clutch hits, had a big walk. Jocelyn, who hasn’t been hitting the ball as well had three hits.”

The Owls ended the game in the sixth inning with Spathias hitting a double to score Ortiz and Dominguez, finalizing the score 11-3 on an Owls mercy rule win. The game was the third in a row the Owls have won with a score of 11 runs.

Spathias said the team handled the game the best way they knew how.

“I thought we came together pretty well,” Spathias said. “We pushed out a win even though there was like one or two innings where it could’ve gotten away from us but we came together.”

The Owls (21-12, 10-3) will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. April 18 at Glendale College (10-16, 6-7).

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