Pirates walk off Rustlers to end 2021 season!

Pirates walk off Rustlers to end 2021 season!

COSTA MESA -- It wasn't the prettiest performance, but the Orange Coast College softball team managed to walk off in style as the Pirates slipped past visiting Golden West, 7-6, on Friday to wrap up the 2021 season.

Coast (7-11) was its own worst enemy against the winless Rustlers as eight OCC errors kept the visitors in the game after the Pirates jumped out to a 6-1 lead.

GWC used a five-run fifth inning to even the score at 6 before the Pirates ended the drama in the bottom of the seventh. Mahealani Perkins nearly ended things on the second pitch of the frame, but her line-drive shot to left field rang off of the top of the fence, allowing Perkins to slide safely into second with a leadoff double.

Korynna Anderson, who finished with a 2-for-4 performance from the leadoff spot, followed with a line-drive single to left, which allowed Perkins to come in and score the winning run against the rival-Rustlers.

Lexi Torres went 1-for-2 with a run and three RBI for OCC (7-12), while Makyla Leyvas added a pair of hits and a run scored. Pitcher Kaitlyn Steffins allowed just one earned run over seven innings on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. 

Jasmine Vasquez and Cieanna Parker-Islas each had two hits for the Rustlers (0-26). 

Leading 3-1, Coast picked up some more offense in the bottom of the third as a two-run double by Torres and a run-scoring single by Kailie McKee pushed the Pirates' advantage to five and things looked good early on.

But in the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates' defense struggled as four errors helped provide five unearned runs for GWC and suddenly, the game was tied at 6. 

Steffins did a great job of regrouping and retired six of the final seven Rustler batters over the final two innings to keep the game tied, setting up OCC's last-inning heroics from Perkins and Anderson.