A pitching gem from Bailey Killough and a four-run fifth inning fueled by three errors helped the Allan Hancock College softball team beat Fullerton 4-1 in a CCCAA Southern Regional play-in game Tuesday afternoon. The Bulldogs, who were seeded No. 18 in the region, improved to 28-13 and advanced to the first round where they will travel to No. 1 Cypress on Friday. Fullerton, the No. 15 seed in the region, finished the year 20-21.
Fullerton scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning to score the first run of the game. Hancock trailed 1-0 until the fifth inning. Nakaila Fuggs led off with a single and moved to third on a base hit by Christabel Chavez. Fuggs later scored on a throwing error by the Fullerton catcher to tie it 1-1. Hancock took the lead for good when Larrissa Ostrander ripped a RBI-single to left to drive in Chavez to give Hancock a 2-1 lead. Ostrander moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Isabella Partida, moved to third on a single to left by Maggie Dasis and raced home on a throwing error by the Fullerton catcher. Dasis later scored Hancock's fourth run of the inning after the Fullerton catcher made an errant throw on a toss back to the pitcher. Two Fullerton catchers combined to make three throwing errors in the inning to fuel the Hancock rally.
Killough, the Western State Conference Pitcher of the Year, allowed just four hits and one walk in seven innings. The Arroyo Grande High School graduate struck out three and allowed one unearned run.
Hancock finished with eight hits, including two apiece from Killough, Fuggs and Chavez.
The Bulldogs advances to face undefeated Cypress, the No. 1 team in the state, in the first round of the Southern Regional. The best-of-three-game series at Cypress will start Friday, May 5, at 2 p.m. Game two will start at 12 p.m. on Saturday with the third game, if needed, to begin at 2 p.m. The Chargers are 40-0 this season and rank among the top-four in the state with 354 runs, 36 home runs and .397 batting average.