APTOS — The playoffs are still very much on the radar for Cabrillo College after coming out victorious on an emotional Sophomore Appreciation Day.
The Seahawks on Tuesday defeated West Valley College, 3-1, in Coast Conference play to take care of business in the final home game of the season.
Cabrillo sophomore pitcher Miranda Janisch also took care of business inside the pitching circle, as she rounded up two strikeouts with no runs given up and threw a one-hitter in four innings pitched.
“Today was very emotional, a happy emotion, obviously, and it was great going out with a win,” said Janisch, who was one of five sophomores playing in their final home game. “And I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else but my team.”
Janisch, who improved to 15-7 and now has 91 strikeouts this season, got some offensive help from freshman outfielder Lauren Lahood, as she hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.
“I try to go up to bat every time really confident and knowing I have this in the bag, I can own it,” she said. “To be able to help with the win is really important.”
Lahood finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs, while Kacey Sguimoto went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
It was all the offensive production the Seahawks needed, and the win gave them a better chance of qualifying for the playoffs and earning a possible home game.
“I’m stoked,” Lahood said. “I’m always stoked after a dub (win) no matter who we play.”
Lahood, who has a .473 batting average (44-of-93), five home runs and 17 RBIs this season, said she believed the team felt comfortable and hyped up for the big-time match up. Especially against a conference rival and because the game took place on Sophomore Appreciation Day.
The quick start for Cabrillo (23-11, 8-4) also helped Janisch, who said she felt extremely confident coming into Tuesday afternoon’s matchup against the Vikings. She knew the defense was there to back her up and was glad to see the bats come alive early.
“Usually we’re down and it takes us a while to get the hits a little bit,” she said. “But, today we came out with a few hits and Lauren (Lahood’s) home run really pumped us up throughout the game.”
Janisch said it was also nice to come away with the season series sweep, 2-0, against West Valley College.
“It’s a good feeling, definitely from last year being on the downside to now it’s an upset for us,” she said.
Monterey Peninsula College and San Jose City College, which play each other Thursday, will likely finish first and second in the conference, giving them automatic bids into the postseason.
But, Cabrillo coach Kristy Rosinger said the Seahawks are still in the driver’s seat and it all depends how they close out the year.
If the Seahawks win out the final three conference games — at Gavilan, at MPC and Chabot, which is a makeup game scheduled for April 24 — and the Lobos lose their final two games, Cabrillo might be able to sneak away with second place. But that’s a big if.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, Cabrillo was ranked seventh on the California Community College Athletic Association RPI polls. The top-16 teams make it to the postseason and the win against West Valley helped them that much more.
The Seahawks close out the season against the Lobos (30-4, 11-2), who started the season with a 16-game win streak and were ranked No. 1 in the state.
Lahood said it’s all about playing hard and the team has confidence heading into the final stretch.
“We’re a really close-knit team and I think that comes with how we play out on the field,” she said. “Very confident, very settled down and just knowing what we need to do. I think we can keep that going through the playoffs it will help us out a lot.”
Janisch said the team has improved a lot throughout the season, but she’d like to see the team come out with the same intensity from Tuesday’s game heading into the final two of the season.
“Just coming out and showing that we’re not the underdogs anymore and we shouldn’t be underestimated,” she said.
The CCCAA regional seeding meeting will take place April 27 with a time and place yet to be determined.
Juan Reyes can be reached at 831-761-7335