Pirates notch statement win with 2-1 triumph over Hawks

Pirates notch statement win with 2-1 triumph over Hawks

COSTA MESA -- There are wins that make a team feel good ... and there are wins that make a statement. Wednesday's 2-1 win over conference power Santiago Canyon did a little of both for the Orange Coast College softball team as the Pirates topped the Hawks for the first time in recent memory, dating back to the beginning of the SCC program 13 years ago.

The Pirates (9-1, 3-1), a team that has been struggling to earn respect in the always-tough Orange Empire Conference, picked up a hard-fought, well-deserved win against a talented Hawks team that was top-five seed in the Southern California Regional playoffs for the past two years as well as the 2016 state champion. 

OCC righty Jordyn East (4-1) pitched a masterpiece for the Pirates, holding the Hawks to just one run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. She out-pitched SCC starter Ashlynn Clifford (5-2), who took the loss after allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

Santiago Canyon grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, thanks to a two-out double by Cozette Zoch and an RBI-single by Sabrina Rivera. But from there East kept the Hawks in check.

It stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth. That's when Liana Castro got a hold of a 2-1 pitch and launched her fifth home run of the season over the left-field fence, tying the score at 1.

SCC threatened in the top of the seventh with two outs after a single and hit batter put runners on first and second, but East coaxed a harmless foul pop-up to Castro to end the frame.

In the bottom of the seventh, Blake Hesla led things off and battled Clifford for nine tough pitches before finally earning the game's lone walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Joanna Michaels moved Hesla to second and a fly out by Shawna Aguerrebere moved her to third, Brooklyn Pack came through with a game-winning, RBI-single to left to snap OCC's decade-long losing streak to the Hawks.

Castro finished with two hits, while Pack, Madison LeClaire and Janae Gomez each collected hits for the Pirates.

The Pirates will return to action on Thursday at home against Saddleback, beginning at 3 p.m.