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Vaqueros beat Grossmont 8-2 to take Regional series

Leadoff hitter Sydney Townes went 6-9 on Sunday, leading the Vaqueros to their first Regional series win. (Photo by Chuck Knowles)
Leadoff hitter Sydney Townes went 6-9 on Sunday, leading the Vaqueros to their first Regional series win. (Photo by Chuck Knowles)

SBCC topped Grossmont 8-2 in Game 3 on Sunday in El Cajon to capture its Southern Cal Regional softball series 2-1.

It's the first Regional series win ever for the Vaqueros (30-12). SBCC racked up 21 runs on 40 hits with just one error in the series.

  2016 Super Regional Bracket

The Vaqueros advance to a four-team Super Regional on Friday, taking on No. 2 seed Santiago Canyon (34-7) at 2 p.m. at Santiago Canyon in Orange. No. 6 Canyons (31-12), the WSC Blue champion, will  battle No. 3 Mt. San Antonio (37-5) in the other first-round game of the double-elimination tournament.

The ninth-seeded Vaqueros led Grossmont 8-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh in Game 2 earlier Sunday, only to see the No. 8 Griffins (27-14-1) score six in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull out a 9-8 win and even the series.

"We're really happy right now, this is a great day for SBCC softball," said coach Paula Congleton. "We're a freshman-dominated team and we could have fallen apart after Game 2 but instead, we bounced right back."

Santa Barbara was the home team for Game 3 and the Vaqueros roared out of the gate, loading the bases with one out in the first inning on singles by Sydney Townes and Alyssa-Rae Jewell and a walk to Christal Vierra. They took a 4-0 lead on two straight errors and Alexa Sorensen's two-run single to right field.

Sierra Salazar hit a solo homer in the third for the Griffins' first run of the series. SBCC won Friday's opener 5-0.

The Vaqueros added two in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take another 8-2 lead into the top of the seventh. The Griffins opened with two singles before Rebecca Pullen got two flyouts and a groundout to short.

Pullen (13-5) held Grossmont to two runs on 10 hits.

Townes went 3-5 with two RBIs and three runs in Sunday's first game. She was 3-4 in the nightcap and went 6-9 for the day with four runs. Sorensen drove in three runs in Game 3, Lauren Ballard was 3-4 with two doubles and an RBI and Monica Salas went 2-4 with three runs.

"Forty hits in three games is pretty impressive," noted Congleton. "Our offense did a great job."

The Vaqueros fell behind 2-1 in Game 2 when Katie Schmidt hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth. In the top of the sixth, the visitors erupted for five runs on an infield error and four straight RBI singles by Townes, Jewell, Maggie Jo Jackson and Vierra that made it 6-2.

Madison McNamee (17-7) held Grossmont to two runs on five hits in the first six innings.

The lead grew to 8-2 in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring single by Townes and an RBI double by Jackson. Jackson went 3-4 with three RBIs in Game 2 while Salas was 2-4.

Salas, a freshman catcher from Dos Pueblos High, leads the Vaquero offense with a .438 average. Townes is batting .426 and Jewell is hitting .422.