After a 27-win season and share of its third Western State Conference title in the last four years, the Allan Hancock College softball team received the lowest seed for the CCCAA Southern Regional Championships. Hancock received the No. 18 seed and will play at No. 15 Fullerton in a play-in game on Tuesday, May 2, at 3 p.m. The winner will move on to the first round of Regionals at either No. 1 Cypress or No. 2 Mt. San Antonio.
Last week, Hancock swept a doubleheader from Moorpark to earn a piece of the conference title and spot in the playoffs. Hancock beat Moorpark 4-3 in the first game on a walk-off hit from Myranda Morales (Pioneer Valley HS). Larrissa Ostrander (Santa Clara HS) had three doubles, and Emily Gantt (St. Joseph HS) hit a two-run double in the opener. Hancock took game two, 6-2, behind two hits and 2 RBI from both Gantt and Morales. Gantt slugged her eighth home run of the season. Shannon Peterson (Santa Clara HS) earned the win in both games.
The Bulldogs dominated postseason honors with nine players earning All-Western State Conference recognition. Freshman Bailey Killough (Arroyo Grande HS) received Conference Pitcher of the Year and All-State after she led the conference with a 1.39 ERA over 145 2/3 innings. She went 16-6 in the regular season, and hit .337 with 28 RBI at the plate. Ostrander, Morales, Peterson and catcher Teanna Silveira (Righetti HS) were named to the First Team. Ostrander leads the Bulldogs with 44 RBI, a .388 batting average, and is tied for the state lead with 10 triples. Christabel Chavez (Santa Maria HS), Gantt and Maggie Dasis (Righetti HS), all sophomores, were Second Team selections. Freshman Nakaila Fuggs (Righetti HS), who led the Bulldogs with 27 walks and 24 stolen bases, received honorable mention.
Fullerton finished the regular season 19-21. The Hornets came in fifth in the Orange Empire Conference behind No. 1 Cypress, No. 5 Santiago Canyon, No. 11 Santa Ana and Saddleback. Eryka Springer leads Fullerton with a .405 batting average, seven home runs and 44 RBI. Anabel Martinez has nine home runs, 35 RBI and a .396 batting average. The Hornets' top pitcher is Natasha Trujillo, who went 11-7 with a .420 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings.
Hancock has played eight of the 18 playoff teams this season. The Bulldogs went 5-6 in those meetings, including a win over No. 2 Mt. San Antonio. The Hornets played 13 playoff teams with an overall record of 7-16, including wins over No. 8 Southwestern, No. 5 Santiago Canyon and No. 10 Citrus.
Hancock and Fullerton have 10 common opponents: Grossmont, Southwestern, Canyons, Rio Hondo, Santa Ana, Mt. SAC, LA Valley, Golden West, Taft and Santa Barbara. Hancock went 8-5 against those teams, while the Hornets went 10-6.
Hancock last played Fullerton early in the 2015 season. Hancock fell 5-4 and 8-0 to the Hornets. The Bulldogs went on to go 35-4-1 and host a Super Regional.