Improved defense not enough for SMC

On a cold day at Clover Park, the Santa Monica Corsairs lost the second of two games against the College of the Canyons' Cougars in five innings last Thursday. The Corsairs were off to a slow start while the Cougars offense got started early. The Cougars pitching was solid, with the Cougar's starting pitcher able to paint the lower half of the strike zone for most of the first four innings. This became a problem for the Corsairs, as the only contact that was made resulted in weakly hit ground balls in the infield.

The Corsairs showed improvement on the defensive side of the ball as the usual errors that plague the infield were not an issue. However, the Cougars were still able to reach base on a series of singles and weakly hit balls out of the infield.

The Cougars were also aggressive on the bases, constantly stealing and eventually building up a ten run lead by the end of the third inning.

A glimpse of the Corsairs potential appeared in the fourth inning when sophomore Alyson Herman took over as pitcher for the Corsairs, striking out several Canyon batters, and having a solid overall outing.

Herman, who is planning on transferring next year, pitched in the previous game and did not start for that reason.

In the fifth and final inning, the Corsairs came out strong and got on the board. After doubles by Crystal Hernandez and Samantha Bozek, Katherine Aragon hit a single that scored both runners and dented Canyons' confidence as a Canyons error led to two runs.

"It felt amazing to get the hit that scored some runs," said Aragon.

Although the Corsairs showed promise in the later innings, it was too little too late, as Canyons added one more run before the game was called in the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule.

Hernandez said that they've come a long way since last year, and she is positive for the team's future.

One of the main goals of the team in the off-season is to actively recruit from high schools for future teams.

Coach Char Wilson says the year has looked up for SMC compared to previous years, and she's pleased with the progress the team is making. "We have won some conference games where last year they were 0-18 and scored around 5 runs total for the season."