The Hancock softball team will look to close in on its third Western State Conference title in the last four years. The Bulldogs start the week 15-3 in conference play and 23-11 overall. Hancock has a two-game lead over Cuesta, a 2.5-game lead over third-place Ventura, and three-game edge on fourth-place Bakersfield.
This week, Hancock will play a doubleheader at last-place L.A. Pierce on Tuesday, April 18, at 1 and 3 p.m. The Brahmas are 2-17 in conference and 2-26 overall. Earlier this year, Hancock blanked Pierce 8-0 in six innings. Shannon Peterson (Santa Clara HS) threw the first three-hitless innings. Freshman Hannah Diaz (Pioneer Valley HS) threw the final three innings and struck out four. Myranda Morales (Pioneer Valley HS) went 2-for-2 with 2 RBI and two runs scored. Nakaila Fuggs (Righetti HS) went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs. Hancock will host Cuesta on Thursday, April 21 at 1 p.m. Prior to that game, the Bulldogs and Cougars will continue their game that was suspended under protest back on March 27. Play will resume in the top of the sixth inning with the score tied 2-2. Hancock fell 2-1 at Cuesta last month.
Last week, Hancock topped Santa Barbara City College on the road 8-3. Shortstop Larrissa Ostrander (Santa Clara HS) went 2-for-4, Peterson went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, and Emily Gantt (St. Joseph HS) slugged a pinch-hit grand-slam as part of a six-run fourth inning. Freshman Bailey Killough (Arroyo Grande HS) struck out five and allowed two earned runs in seven innings. Hancock was scheduled to host a doubleheader with Oxnard last week, but the Condors forfeited both games to Hancock.
Overall, Ostrander leads the Bulldogs with a .352 batting average, 37 hits, six triples and 33 RBI. She also has 18 stolen bases. Morales is hitting .333 with 23 RBI. Sophomore Maggie Dasis (Righetti HS) is hitting .313 with 24 RBI, 18 stolen bases, and a team-high 32 runs scored. Killough is hitting .308 with two home runs and 23 RBI. The freshman also leads the conference with a 1.22 ERA over 120 1/3 innings. Isabella Partida (St. Joseph HS) is hitting .273 with seven doubles, three triples, 19 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Fuggs leads the conference with 21 stolen bases and 22 walks to go with three triples. Peterson is hitting .348 to go with 18 RBI.
Cuesta's Dayna Manser ranks third in the conference with a .471 batting average and fifth with five home runs. The Cougars' Demi Danell ranks second with a 2.21 ERA and 136 strikeouts.