Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Softball: Long Beach swept from SoCal Regionals by No. 1 Cypress, close season at 23-20

LBCC nearly pulled off the Game 1 win, but was swept 2-0 by Cypress in the SoCal Regionals. (Photo by Cypress College Athletics)
LBCC nearly pulled off the Game 1 win, but was swept 2-0 by Cypress in the SoCal Regionals. (Photo by Cypress College Athletics)

Facing the No. 1 seed in the Southern California Regional Playoffs in Cypress College, No. 16 Long Beach City College suffered a pair of losses to the top-ranked Chargers to close out the 2016 season and its postseason run. The Vikings nearly pulled off the upset in the opening game of the best-of-three playoff series at Cypress, but lost 4-2 on Saturday. And on Sunday in Game 2, LBCC was overwhelmed in a 12-0, five-inning defeat.

In Game 1, LBCC sophomore Brooke Loard (Millikan HS) matched Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year Vanessa Ledesma in a pitcher's duel for the first five innings as both kept their opponents scoreless and allowed just one hit.

In the top of the sixth, LBCC finally broke through against Cypress' ace to take a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Erika Balboa (Gahr HS) led off with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Sarah Maldonado (Port of Los Angeles HS). With one down, sophomore Brianna Alvarez (Montebello HS) followed with a triple to drive in Balboa with the game's first run. Two batters later, sophomore Doreen Corella (San Pedro HS) line a two-out RBI single to score Alvarez.

But Cypress got to Loard as well in the bottom of the sixth. The Chargers rallied for four runs on four hits and took advantage of a run-scoring error as well as two hit batters (one with the bases loaded) to pull out the win. LBCC went down in order in the seventh and Cypress escaped with the victory.

And in Game 2, Long Beach couldn't get its bats going against Ledesma. LBCC's best chance to score came in the first when Alvarez led off with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt. Corella hit a one-out single to put runners at the corners, but sophomore Mariah Jacobo (La Serna HS) and freshman Daisy Velasquez (Bellflower HS) couldn't bring them home.

Cypress' momentum from its come-from-behind win on Saturday carried over into Sunday as the Chargers opened their half of first inning with two runs off freshman Anissa Hamilton (Downey HS). The Chargers would score two more runs on Hamilton in the second before she gave way to Loard. The Chargers greeted Loard with a run in the third inning before blowing the game open with seven runs in the fourth.

Alvarez had two of the Vikings' five hits in their season-ending loss and went 3 for 6 over the playoff series to lead Long Beach at the plate.

Despite the series loss, the 2016 season saw the Vikings move in the right direction. Under first-year head coach Megan Martinez, LBCC made its first postseason appearance since 2011. The Vikings closed the year with a 23-20 overall record and finished fourth in the South Coast Conference at 12-9.