GLENDALE — On the verge of handing College of the Canyons softball team its first division defeat, things suddenly got out of hand for Glendale Community College.
For six innings in the second game of a Western State Conference Blue Division doubleheader Thursday, the Vaqueros limited the powerful Cougars to one run.
The seventh inning wouldn’t prove to be kind to the Vaqueros, who surrendered eight runs en route to a 9-4 defeat. Glendale suffered a 12-3 loss in the first game, which was called after six innings because of the nine-run mercy rule.
Canyons (20-7-1, 11-0 in the division) sent 12 batters to the plate in the seventh. The Cougars finished with seven hits in the inning after recording six in the first six innings.
“It’s been that way for most of the season,” said Glendale college Coach Dave “Hawk” Wilder, whose team fell to 14-15-1, 4-8. “We have a young team and we tend to have these things happen quite often.
“When you think about it, we had a lot of chances earlier and we couldn’t score. The good teams find a way to win games like that. They did and we didn’t. That’s the bottom line.”
Canyons, which won the division championship last season, pulled to within 4-2 on a run-scoring single by Valerie Imperial. A sacrifice fly to right by Alyssa Hernandez made it 4-3.
The pivotal play came when Savannah Gutierrez, the ensuing batter, came to the plate. Gutierrez lofted a fly ball to the center fielder, who dropped the offering, allowing two runs to score.
Glendale never recovered, as Canyons tacked on four more runs against Glendale starting pitcher Katie Bakhshian (12-10) to complete the sweep.
“We were at the bottom of the lineup, so that’s where you need to get people out,” Wilder said. “For six innings, they couldn’t touch Katie.”
Glendale took a 1-0 lead in the first on an inside-the-park home run to right by Jenna Kaser. Canyons tied it at 1 on a run-scoring double by Melissa Reynosa.
The Vaqueros regained the lead at 2-1 on a run-scoring single by Kayla Evans in the third. They scored twice in the fifth to make it 4-1 on a throwing error by the catcher and a run-scoring single by Nicole Saucillo.
In the first game, Evans and Kaser had two hits apiece. Evans drove in a pair of runs.
Glendale will next compete Saturday in the Ventura Tournament. It will next participate in a home division doubleheader at 1 p.m. Thursday against Bakersfield at the Glendale Sports Complex.