Walnut, CA - SoCal No. 3 and defending State Champions, Cypress College kept their repeat dreams alive on Saturday afternoon in the 2018 CCCAA State Softball Championships. The Chargers eliminated NorCal No. 1 College of San Mateo 7-2 and advanced to the elimination semi-final later in the day.
Bulldog sophomore Allie Stines got the game off to the start San Mateo (41-6) wanted when she roped a double to right-center. A few pitches later, sophomore Gabrielle Zuchiatti lifted a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to drive in Stines who was by then on third.
Cypress (40-8) rallied with a pair in the top of the second. Sophomore Kiani Puailoa led the inning off with a walk, and then stole second. Three at bats later, Puailoa scored on a triple to right-center by freshman Vanessa Ayala. Freshman Destiny Lucero drove in Ayala with a single to left that gave the Chargers their first lead of the game.
Puailoa would help add on to the lead in the very next inning with a sacrifice fly to right that plated sophomore Sydney McCollum. The Chargers added two more in the top of the fifth via a single to center field by sophomore Kellee Ross. Lucero did the same thing two innings later with a single back up the middle to make it 7-1.
With Cypress adding runs every other inning, San Mateo was struggling to cash runners in. The Bulldogs put ducks on the pond in the second, fourth, fifth, and seventh innings. Despite all those base runners, the lone score for San Mateo came in the last inning, leaving the Bulldogs short of their deficit.
Sophomore Hope Davalos (25-7) earned the victory, scattering eight hits and two runs over her seven innings of work. Davalos struck out a single batter in the game, using 70 pitches to get seven fly ball outs and 11 ground ball outs. Lucero finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs for Cypress. For San Mateo, Zuchiatti was 2-for-2 with an RBI on a sacrifice.
The Chargers will take on the losing team from the first semi-final of the day. Mt. San Antonio College (SoCal No. 2) will be facing Palomar College (SoCal No. 3) at 3:00 PM. The elimination semi-final is scheduled for a 5:30 PM start time.