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April 26, 2011 > Ohlone closing in on another title

Ohlone closing in on another title

By Biff Jones

With time running out on the regular season, both the Chabot College Lady Gladiators and Ohlone College Lady Renegades softball teams had a full slate of games a week ago. Ohlone -- vying for its ninth consecutive Coast Conference North regular season title -- and Chabot still had work to do in order to get bids into the California Community College Athletic Association postseason tournament.

Chabot's playoff hopes took a hit when, on Monday, April 18, and Tuesday, April 19, they lost home games to Taft and De Anza colleges.

In Monday's 3-2 nonleague loss to Taft, Chabot took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning but Taft got one back in the fifth and put the game away with two in the sixth. Taylor Cruz, Stephanie Vandenbusch and Desiree Ramos all went 2-3 with Ramos driving in both runs. Sophomore ace Cheyanne Bennett went the distance and took the loss giving up seven hits, a walk and striking out four.

Against De Anza, a 5-3 loss on Tuesday, each team scored single runs in the second, third and fifth innings but the visitors sealed it with a two-run seventh. Bennett went the distance again, giving up 11 hits and a walk with two Ks. Bennett and Vandenbusch went 2-3 with Vandenbusch driving in two and Amanda O'Conner adding a solo home run for the Lady Gladiators other run.

After ousting Chabot, De Anza went on to play Ohlone on Thursday, April 21. Ohlone's only chance at winning its ninth straight CCN title was winning its final two games -- against De Anza and then at home vs. first-place San Mateo (who leads the Lady Renegades by one game).

De Anza got on the board first with a run in the third and three more in the fourth. Ohlone answered with two in their half of the fourth and tied it at 4 with two in the fifth. That was all the scoring until the eighth when Renegade catcher Shelby Fowler led off by reaching on a De Anza error and then stole second base. With two outs, Brittany Hillman drove in Fowler with the winning run on a single to left for the 5-4 victory.

Ohlone ace Jessica Varady went the distance to improve to 23-5. She gave up eight hits, one walk and struck out 11. Hillman, Varady and Candice Christiansen all had two hits. Stefanie Hatley had a homerun and two RBIs.

Meanwhile in Hayward, Chabot was taking on CSM and it was the Bennett show. Chabot's southpaw ace again toed the rubber and all she did was throw an 11-inning shutout, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out six. At the plate Bennett went 3-6 with a double and the game-winning RBI in the Lady Gladiators 1-0 win.

San Mateo's loss put them in a first-place tie with Ohlone. Now, on Tuesday, April 26, in Fremont, the two clubs will battle it out for CCN supremacy in the final game of the regular season; first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Both teams will receive automatic bids to the CCCAA playoffs as conference winner and runner up. Log onto the Tri-City Voice Sports website -- -- to find out the result and the schedule for the CCCAA Nor Cal regional tournament.

Chabot traveled to Reedley last Tuesday, April 19, as the No. 6 seed in the Nor Cal dual team competition of the CCCAA women's tennis tournament quarterfinals. They faced No. 3 Reedley College and lost 5-0 to end their dual meet season. They still have six singles and doubles players that will participate in the Nor Cal individual competition at Fresno City College May 5-7.

Swimming & Diving
Chabot and Ohlone participated in the Coast Conference swimming tournament from Thursday to Saturday, April 21-23. In the women's competition, San Mateo took first, while locals Chabot and Ohlone took third and ninth respectively. On the men's side, it was Foothill who finished atop the standings, with Ohlone and Chabot taking third and seventh respectively.

Top women finishers for Chabot and Ohlone on Saturday are as follows: in the mile (1,650 yards) free style, 1. Josanne van der Wilk (CC), 4. Stephanie White (CC); 100 free, 1 (tie). Nicole Houghtelling (CC); 400 free relay, 1. Chabot (van der Wilk, Priscilla Yeung, Kaylin Adza, and Houghtelling); top men: in the mile free, 1. Weng Cheang (OC); 200 backstroke, 3. AJ Griffeth (OC); 100 free, 2. Danny Dixon (CC), 3. Justin Cox, (OC), 4. Jason Corbet (OC); 400 free relay, 2. Ohlone, 7. Chabot.

CCCAA State Swimming Championships will held April 28-30 at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park.

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