OXNARD - For six offensively scarce innings, sophomore Brandy Morin helped keep the Glendale Community College softball team within striking distance through her work on the mound.
And when an opportunity finally opened in the seventh, the Vaqueros seized it. They pounded out three hits, including a double followed by a run-scoring single, and Morin continued to deliver as Glendale put away Ventura, 1-0, to sweep the best-of-three series in the California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern California Regional at Oxnard College.
Morin (22-11) yielded only two hits and struck out two, with only one Pirates player able to reach second base. The Vaqueros (29-13) now advance to the Super Regionals, beginning Friday at second-seeded Cypress.
“We both relied on one pitcher and we got here because of one pitcher,” Glendale Coach Hawk Wilder said. “Our pitcher just had bats behind her when hers didn’t. Ours were on a little more today and their's wasn’t. That was the difference.”
Ventura sophomore pitcher Teresa Lemos did her best to keep 10th-seeded Glendale from getting hits. She allowed one in the third and another in the fifth, though neither advanced beyond first base. Similarly, No. 7 Ventura (32-9) only got one hit through the first six innings.
But heading into the seventh with a scoreless tie, Glendale’s Cece Martinez hit a one-out double and Casey Nicodemus followed up with a run-scoring single that sailed above Ventura’s first baseman, Jennifer Moreno, and barely stayed in play.
A quick discussion between the umpires determined that the ball was indeed fair.
With a 1-0 lead and two outs, Morin then singled to push Nicodemus from first to third base, but a groundout to shortstop closed the top of the seventh.
“We just had to be composed up there and get the pitches that we like,” Morin said. “We’re staying aggressive and working on being together as a team, communication-wise. We want to win and we have that energy now that we haven’t had before.”
Through six innings, Morin had given up only one hit. She quickly yielded another one to the leadoff hitter to open the bottom of the seventh inning, though she atoned for it by retiring the next three batters in order.
“You can’t hold us down the whole game. That’s what makes us so good,” Wilder said. “You might hold us down for five innings, six innings. But sooner or later, we’re going to get to you. And that’s what makes this team so good - they always know that we can come back and win.
“I’m Native American Indian and I say, it’s like the wolf. [Morin]’s our wolf and this is the pack. And how the wolf goes, the pack goes. If the wolf’s down, the pack has to pick her up. And that’s what we’ve done all year.”
Ventura’s Lemos finished allowing five hits and three walks. She struck out three and hit one batter.
“We just believed in each other,” Martinez said. “They’re a really good team, but today we just battled. We were confident in ourselves and once we got into the seventh inning, we just knew we had to get hits.”