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Results tagged “champions” from College Sports Blog

Oxnard men, Ventura women dominate WSC soccer

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Ventura County has dominated Western State Conference soccer this fall.

A combined 19-0-5 in conference play, the Oxnard College men and Ventura College women both clinched WSC titles in the past six days.

The Oxnard men (13-2-4, 11-0-4), ranked No. 3 in Southern California and No. 7 in the state, clinched a share of its third WSC title in six years with a 4-1 win at Hancock Tuesday night.

One year after an undefeated WSC campaign wasn't enough to edge Santa Barbara City, sophomores like goalkeeper Osvaldo Vallodolid, fullback Estanilo Arevalo and midfield Victor Magana knew that every win was precious this season.

"We have a bunch of sophomores who have learned from painful experiences in previous years," Oxnard coach Ross Greaney said. "Everybody learned from the finish to last year and knew that going undefeated wasn't enough."

"I think enough of our players knew the importance of every point, to make sure it didn't slip through our fingers again."

Put in position by its 4-1 win over Santa Barbara City, the Ventura women (13-5-1, 8-0-1) finished the job Friday with a 5-0 bruising of Cuesta.

After losing five of six matches early against some of the best teams in the nation, including No. 1 Santiago Canyon, No. 3 Canyons and No. 4 Cerritos, the Pirates, ranked No. 9 in Southern California and No. 13 in the state, rebounded with a 12-game unbeaten streak.

"When you play the type of competition we played, it's certainly pretty tough," Ventura coach Steve Hoffman said. "We didn't really hide from anybody and that's why we're playing so well."

Both are ranked No. 15 in the national coaches polls.

Oxnard's free-flowing attack has been led by striker Travis Bowen (14 goals) and attacker Max Madrigal (six goals, 10 assists).

"There is definitely a respect and a respect in the way that teams will play us, putting players behind the ball and defend just for a tie," Greaney said. "It's good preparation for playoffs."

After it wraps the regular season up Friday against visiting Oxnard, Ventura should be a much more dangerous postseason opponent later this month than its seed would hint.

"You get everybody healthy and you can go on a run," Hoffman said. "We're ready to rock and roll. I don't know whether we'll be at home or on the road, but we'll be ready."

Oxnard needs a tie against cross-county rival Moorpark Friday to clinch the title outright.

"The result on Tuesday has definitely taken the pressure off of us, knowing that we've have some reward for the season we've had," Greaney said. "But I don't think anybody wants to share the conference title. We know the job is not totally done."

Double champs on tennis court

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The Ventura College tennis teams become double champs for the first time since 2007 Tuesday, when the teams both clinches Western State Conference titles.

The VC men (15-4, 9-0) topped Los Angeles Pierce, 5-4, to extend its WSC-title streak to seven seasons. Tyler Sperry and Nick Bezzubchenko earning the decisive set at No. 1 doubles.

The VC women (15-0, 8-0), ranked No. 1 in Southern California, clinched its first title in style, sweeping all five singles matches to knock off defending champion Santa Monica, 8-1. Julianna Bacelar, Jessica Worring, Sonia Landeros, Layne Gallimore and Carolyn Morris, VC's Top 5 singles players in order, all improved to 7-0 in WSC singles play.

Kloppenburg fires VC women to Glendale crown

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Sophomore guard Carlotta Kloppenburg made nine of 11 from 3-point land, scoring 30 points, to earn all-tournament honors as the Ventura College women's basketball team completed the first weekend of its season by winning the Vaquero Shootout at Glendale College.

Sophomore forward Destinee LaFountain had 18 points and 13 rebounds to earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors and sophomore guard Rebecca Griffin added 11 points as Ventura routed Irvine Valley, 85-55, in the title game Sunday afternoon.

"We've played two really good teams and we played about as hard as we could play at this point in the season," said Ventura coach Ned Mircetic. "We can build on this."

Ventura (3-0), ranked No. 3 in the Southern California preseason coaches' poll, scored eight of the game's first 10 points as Kloppenburg buried her first two from long range. She followed with a third to ignite a 13-0 run that began the build toward a 54-24 halftime lead.

"After I hit a couple, I just started feeling it and my teammates found me in the right spots," said Kloppenburg. "Being in rhythm and having your teammates find you is the thing."

The sophomore from Susanville, Calif. made 9 of 11 3-pointers, including 8 of 10 in the first half.

"I've come out a lot more confident this year and ready to go," said Kloppenburg.

Her 9 3s fell one short of Erika Ward's three-year-old school record. Kloppenburg was already No. 2 on the list, having made 8 3s last February at Oxnard.

"On every shot she took, she got a really good look at the rim," said Mircetic. "Every shot she took was out of our offense, so everyone contributed to her shot going in."

Irvine Valley (3-3) was led by 27 points from freshman forward Amber Wharton.

Ventura shot 31 of 60 from the field, out-rebounded Irvine Valley 42 to 25 and had 20 assists as a team, including six by Griffin and four by freshman Rian Mew.

The Pirates host their annual VC-Kiwanis Tournament of Champions this weekend, beginning Friday. The field includes No. 1 Mount San Antonio and No. 6 Canyons.

"If we play this hard and this well as a team," said Mircetic, "we'll be tough to deal with."

VC wins 13th straight WSC Supremacy award

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Despite trailing after the fall season, the Ventura College athletic department rallied during the winter and spring to win the Western State Conference Supremacy Award for the 13th consecutive school year.

Ventura has retained the conference's all-sports trophy since sharing it with Bakersfield in 1998-99. Behind five conference titles and three runner-up finishes, Ventura amassed 99 points. Canyons (78 points), Santa Barbara City (77.5), Glendale (73) and Cuesta (70) rounded out the Top 5.

"It's a testament to the hard work of the coaches, the support staff and the student-athletes," said Ventura athletic director Will Cowen. "It's a group effort."

Ventura captured WSC titles in men's swimming, men's tennis, women's water polo, women's soccer, women's basketball. No other WSC school won more than three titles during the 2010-11 school year.

Moorpark (53 points) was eighth. Oxnard (29 points) was 13th.

Tennis title

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With a 8-1 win over Los Angeles Pierce Tuesday, the defending state champion Ventura College men's tennis team clinched its sixth straight WSC title and 10th in 11 seasons.

The Pirates host Orange Empire Conference champion Cypress Saturday at 12 noon.

Ventura's surprising young champions

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Things looked bleak for the Ventura College women's basketball team in December.
A 5-4 start combined with a Western State Conference North Division race with three other ranked teams put its streak of 20 straight WSC North titles in jeopardy.

"I know that this is the year that a lot of people thought we could finish third or fourth in the league," said Ventura coach Ned Mircetic. "We had a rocky beginning part of the year. There were a lot of growing pains early on."

But the No. 10-ranked Pirates grew together, found a rotation that worked and ripped off 16 wins in 18 games, including its last 11 straight, to clinch its 21st straight WSC North title outright with a 68-52 win over visiting Santa Barbara City Wednesday.

"I've said this and I mean it, every win is special," said Mircetic. "And for this group to be Western State Conference championships is really special."

"They have overachieved with a group of freshman that stumbled their way through the early part of the season... They're really learning their way around the game of basketball."

Center Destinee LaFountain, averaging 13.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, is on pace to become the first Ventura player to average a double-double since
Nicole Ellis in 1993.

The 6-foot-1 freshman from Royal High is the reigning WSC North Player of the Week.
Guard Rebecca Griffin is averaging 15.2 points and 4.0 assists per game. Guard Stephanie Ramirez is averaging nearly 10 points and shooting nearly 56 percent in WSC North play. Regan Mew and Ariel Hale have developed into vital two-way players. Carlotta Kloppenburg buried six 3s Wednesday.

"I'm really happy for them," said Mircetic. "They've achieved beyond their abilities. But they are champions, so they can say whatever they want."

MC volleyball clinches third-straight WSC title

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Karissa Flack had 15 kills and Jessica Soprano had 17 assists as the Moorpark College women's volleyball team clinched a share of its third straight Western State Conference title with a three-game sweep of visiting Cuesta Tuesday night at Raider Pavilion.

Erika Smith had 12 digs, Michelle Tanaka had seven aces and Alyssa Del Sesto and Chelcy Westphal had five kills apiece as the No. 13-ranked Raiders (14-7) bounced back from Friday's loss in Santa Barbara to win, 25-10, 25-14, 26-24.

"We were awfully leery," said Moorpark coach Steve Burkhart. "I tried to convince the girls that this was our home playoff game. We needed to focus."

Moorpark dominated the first two games before surviving a game point to come from behind to take the third game.

"For us, it was trying to serve tough and play with a lot of passion," said Burkhart.

For the second straight season, Moorpark and Santa Barbara City split the WSC North title at 9-1. They split their two meetings, the home team prevailing on both occasions.
Moorpark also won three consecutive titles under Burkhart from 2001-03.

"We're pretty honored by it," said Burkhart.

The field for the Southern California regional playoffs will be announced Sunday.

Arteagas win state doubles championship

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Two days after leading the Ventura College men's tennis team to team glory, sophomores Pedro and Juan Arteaga won the state doubles title Saturday evening, topping Hasheem Bason and Justin Vea of Foothill College, 6-2, 6-1, at the Tennis Club of Newport Beach.

The brothers from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela defeated Marcelo Alecio and Alfredo Mota of Mount San Jacinto in the semifinal, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.

Undefeated in team play, the Arteagas finished their sophomore season with only one loss in more than 20 matches. It came in the semifinals of the Ojai tournament.

VC men's swimming wins state title

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Daniel Colvin won the 50-yard free style and quartets won the 200 and 400 medley relays as the Ventura College men's swimming team cruised to its second state championship by a 127.5-point deluge Saturday night at the Marie T. Mills Aquatic Facility at Mount San Antonio College.

Click here for the story from today's Star.

Sugishita, Swenson give MC a WSC discus sweep

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Moorpark College took the Western State Conference championships in men's and women's discus at the WSC Prelims Saturday at the Ventura College Sportsplex.

Kenneth Sugishita won the men's discus in (151 feet, 9 inches) and Jane Swenson won the women's discus (134-9).

In the men's 10,000 meters, Isidore Herrera finished second (32:08) and Cesar Lopez finished fifth (32:58). Madelyn Stoltze finished second (37:41) in the women's 10,000 meters.

Also in the discus, Gabriel Acero was third (134-9) and Cameron Begue was fifth (130-9).

Click the jump for the full Moorpark qualifiers for the WSC Finals Friday at Moorpark.

Today's State Championship coverage (video)

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Women's state final
Sunday, Cal Lutheran
No. 2-S Ventura 59, No. 1-S Fullerton 47
Ventura County Star: VC owns title again
Ventura County Star: Brennan takes her game to higher level
Ventura County Star: Mircetic recognized need to evolve
Ventura County Star: Video Highlights
Ventura County Star: Photo Gallery
The Student Voice: We are the champions... Of California

Men's state final
Sunday, Cal Lutheran
No. 4-S Saddleback 63, No. 2-N San Francisco 57
Ventura County Star: Saddleback takes the title this time
San Francisco Chronicle: CCSF falls short of state title
The Bakersfield Californian: Saddleback wins men's state basketball title

Saddleback men gain redemption

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Sophomore guard Perry Webster had 19 points and seven rebounds to earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors as the Saddleback College men's basketball team earned its second state championship in eight years with a 63-57 win over City College of San Francisco Sunday afternoon at Cal Lutheran's Gilbert Center.

Tyler McManaman added 12 points, including a game-clinching runner with 12 seconds to play, as the Gauchos (29-5) ended a season-long quest for redemption after falling in the state final in overtime last season to Orange Empire Conference rival Riverside.

"It's a monkey off your back," said Webster. "On the bus home last year, I looked at (fellow sophomore) T.J. (Lipold) and said, we've got to get back there."

Saddleback led 27-24 at the half and never trailed in the second half to become the second straight No. 4-South seed from the OEC to lift the trophy.

"Having the experience of being there with three of the guys here, we knew what to expect," said Saddleback coach Andy Ground. "The guys did a good job of executing the game plan."

Calvin Douglas had 16 points and Deend Parker had 13 points for San Francisco (28-5), which was searching for its first state title since 1962.

The Rams tied the game on Jonathan Williams' dunk with 2:49 to play, but could not take the lead.

Webster and McManaman were joined on the All-Tournament team by teammate Robert Curtis, Williams and Da'Ron Sims of San Francisco, Nate Roth of San Bernardino Valley and former Ventura College forward Randy Hunter, who played for Citrus.

Raiders faced giants

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The silver lining to the strong fall season is the topic of conversation at Raider Pavilion.

The Moorpark College men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball teams not only all tasted success in the Southern California regional playoffs, they all lost to the eventual state champions.

"Could have had three state championships," said Moorpark athletic director Howard Davis, jokingly. "What kind of fall would that have been?"

All three coaches enjoyed the success of their eliminators.

"I'd rather lose to the state champion than a team who loses the next match," said women's soccer coach Eric Privat.

"You don't feel as bad as you would if you were beaten by a team that lost the next match," said men's soccer coach Sean Roche.

Both soccer teams actually pushed the eventual state and National Soccer Coaches Association of America national champions all the way in 1-0 losses.

"And to think they went all the way and they only narrowly beat us," said Roche.

The Moorpark men fell in a regional semifinal at top seed Mount San Antonio, while the Moorpark women fell in a regional final at top seed Santiago Canyon.

"I felt that our players, for one of the first times, really pushed themselves to the limit and beyond," said Privat. "That's how you keep on building a program."

Instead of a moral victory away to a top seed, the women's volleyball team was the higher seed in the tight five-game regional final at Raider Pavilion.

"It certainly shows how close we were this year," said Moorpark coach Steve Burkhart.

The No. 4 Raiders actually scored more points that night, but No. 5 Orange Coast went on to win a series of close matches to claim its third state championship of the decade.

"After I looked at our team and how close we were to beating Orange Coast," said Burkhart, "I thought, 'Oh gosh,' after they went all the way. But they won a lot of really close games through the state tournament, so maybe they were a bit mentally tougher than everybody else."

CLU football clinches a share of the SCIAC

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Running its win streak to seven games, the Cal Lutheran football team clinched at least a share of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 45-3 win at La Verne Saturday.

CLU (7-1, 5-0) can claim the title outright, and earn its first NCAA Division III playoff berth, with a win next Saturday against Redlands.

On a day when the Kingsmen were able to clear their bench, Antoine Adams ran for two touchdowns, Bobby Rodrigues and Derek Martinez had one each, and Jericho Toilolo -- the first of five CLU quarterbacks -- threw for a score. But the biggest play was Derek Wilson's 89-yard kickoff return, erasing a short-lived 3-0 La Verne lead.

(From David Lassen in La Verne)

The Leopards are now 0-8, 0-6.

Womack backstops VC men's water polo WSC title

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VALLEY GLEN -- Spencer McGrath and Jonnie Pare scored four goals apiece and goalie Cody Womack made 14 blocks in a dominating performance as the Ventura College men's water polo team defended its Western State Conference championship with a 13-6 win over rival Cuesta Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Valley College.

Ventura (19-4) scored the first three goals in opening a 11-1 lead on Pare's goal three minutes into the second half.

"We played our best game as a whole," said Ventura head coach Mark Schmidt. "We played very, very well. We took control of the game and kept it.

"I was really proud of the guys."

Hopeful of a Top 4 place, Ventura now awaits their Southern California regional playoff seeding Monday.

Although the Ventura men could be without starter Mike Crowley and key reserve Michael Craft for its first postseason game. Both were ejected, along with two Cuesta players, as the game unraveled in the second half in the face of Ventura's huge lead.

"I felt like the game was going to get physical and I asked (the officials) to keep control of it," said Schmidt. "But they lost it."

Cuesta had as little luck handling Ventura's counterattacking speed as it did beating Womack.

"Cody was a wall today," said McGrath.

"He was definitely today's MVP," said Pare. "He played huge."

Clark, Herold heroics as VC women preserve water polo title

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Carly Clark scored four goals, Emily Allen scored two goals and Marissa Herold made 11 saves, including a point-blank save to preserve the win with 37 seconds left, as the Ventura College women's water polo team defended its Western State Conference title with a 7-6 win over Citrus Saturday afternoon at the WSC Championships at Los Angeles Valley College.

Ventura (17-4) awaits its Southern California regional playoff seeding Monday as WSC champion.

Two previous 13-8 wins over Citrus (14-10) meant nothing when the Owls opened up first quarter leads of 3-1 and 4-2.

"We knew if we could just hold on, we were better conditioned," said Ventura coach Mary Giles.

Citrus kept Ventura's leading scorer, Clark, off the scoreboard for the first 10 minutes.

"I was getting a little frustrated," said the Agoura High product. "It was physical out there."

But the Pirates used man-advantage situations to work their way back into the game.

"Once we started drawing ejections, we were able to set the tempo," said Clark.

Down 4-2 after one quarter, Ventura scored five of the next six goals to take a 7-5 lead with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

Clark and Allen each scored twice on the man advantage during that span.

Citrus star Meghan Turner, who had been held to a single goal in Ventura's previous two wins over the Owls, scored her fourth goal to pull Citrus within 7-6 with 4:27 to play in the third quarter.

The final 12 minutes became a swim meet as Ventura turned up the defense.

"It was swimming back and forth," said Clark.

"That's what we train for," said sophomore Mary Dugan.

Ventura sophomore Marissa Herold kept her net empty for the final 12:27, making a huge point-blank save with 37 seconds to play as Citrus pressed for an equalizer on the advantage.

"That was fabulous," said Giles. "What a storybook ending for her, and for us really."

"She saved us," said Clark.

Hicks wins SoCal javelin title

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Ventura College's Randi Hicks won the Southern California women's javelin title Saturday afternoon at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

The sophomore from Rio Mesa High threw a personal best 152 feet, five inches, nearly 30 feet further than the competition's runner-up.

"I might have a 160 in me," said Hicks. "Maybe at the state meet."

Hicks will bring the nation's top mark into the California Community College championships Saturday at College of San Mateo.

Ventura's Holly Russell was ninth at 113-0.

Litchfield earns state singles title for VC

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Ashley Litchfield used her head to complete a historic Ventura College women's tennis season.

The sophomore from Acton rebounded from slow starts in both sets to become the first player in school history to win the California Community College women's singles championship Saturday afternoon at Natomas Racquet Club in Sacramento.

Litchfield swept Cerritos' Samantha Nadres 7-6(6-1), 6-1 in the state final to couple her state singles championship with the Ojai singles title she won last month. No VC women had previously won either tournament.

"I got down because I wasn't being very smart," said Litchfield. "The plan was to keep the ball high or low, out of her strike zone, but I was trying to hit it hard and rally with her instead.

"She was outplaying me... Once I started thinking it through more, I was able to come back."

Down 4-0 in the first set, Litchfield won five straight games and dominated the tiebreaker, 6-1.

"She got her bearings straight and came back," said Ventura coach Nelson Emery.

Down 2-1 in the second set, the Quartz Hill High product ripped off five straight games to clinch the state championship.

"First time in school history," said Emery, who is coaching both the men's and women's teams for the first time this season.

Ventura entered Saturday looking for both men's and women's state glory, but Ventura freshman Zach Taylor fell in the men's single final 6-2, 6-4 to Francisco Stuardo of College of the Desert.

"It was a tight match," said Emery. "At the end, he had his chance. If he had gotten into that third set, (Stuardo) was done. He was playing on fumes.

Taylor defeated Stuardo in three sets in the regional round.

"He played well," said Emery of Taylor. "The guy was just on fire, hitting winners everywhere.

"He has a big forehand and he was dictating play with that forehand."

VC wins WSC titles in men's and women's swimming

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Along the way to its seventh straight conference championship Saturday in Bakersfield, the Ventura College men's swimming team made its argument as the strongest team in the 25-year history of Western State Conference swimming and diving.

Winning 15 of the 18 individual swimming events over the three-day meet, the Pirates set the record for points in a championship meet by amassing 982 points, surpassing by six points the previous mark owned by Ventura's 2007 edition.

The Pirates nearly doubled the total of second-place Citrus College, which finished with 492 points. Weston Locatell of Citrus was the only non-Ventura swimmer to win a men's swimming event, capturing the 200 intermediate medley and both butterfly events.

The Ventura College women's swimming team survived a strong push from upstart Santa Monica to win the conference championship for the ninth time in 11 years, 714 to 628.

Deanna Pickman won the 1650-yard freestyle in 18:21.80, with Megan Carter following in third (20:16.90).

The quartet of Brooke Penney, Kelsey Michon, Pickman and Bonny Bordwell won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:36.65.

Penney broke the school record in finishing second (52.96) in the 100 freestyle, while Bordwell was third (54.22). Jacqueline O'Hagan was second (1:09.90) in the 100 breast stroke. Kendall Avery was second (1:02.18) in the 100 butterfly. Cristina Fung was third (1:02.57) in the 100 backstroke.

On the men's side, freshman Daniel Colvin won the 100 freestyle in 45.50, breaking the four-year-old conference record of former Ventura star Cheyne O'Gorman. Eric Anderssen and Michael Craft followed in second (45.57) and third (46.72) for a Top 3 sweep.

Chris Baier and Mike Lee finished first (16:59.38) and second (17:08.15) in the 1650 freestyle.

Tyler McClure and Michael Crowley finished first (1:53.49) and second (1:58.63) in the 200 backstroke.

Rafael Ingannamonte won the 200 breast stroke in 2:11.65.

Wade Federer and Tyler Pool finished second (2:02.10) and third (2:02.70), respectively, in the 200 butterfly.

The 400 freestyle relay quartet of McClure, Colvin, Baier and Anderssen capped the weekend by obliterating the conference record in the final event. The time of 3:03.41 bettered the previous record by nearly four seconds.

Moorpark takes WSC softball title

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Twin shutouts by freshman Taylor Neumann and sophomore Bonnie Ward against cross-country rival Ventura clinched the host Raiders' first Western State Conference championship in seven years Thursday afternoon.

Backed by near flawless defense highlighted by stalwart third baseman Michelle Zakosek, the pitching pair made it look a lot easier than it felt.

Barely a month into the rebirth of her pitching career, Neumann, Moorpark's starting catcher, improved to 6-2 by scattering four hits and inducing 12 ground ball outs over seven shutout innings of a 2-0 Game 1 victory.

Little more than a year after sustaining a knee ligament injury that left her pitching future in doubt, Ward picked up her 20th win of the season, 1-0, with a three-hit shutout.

The sweep ballooned a half-game lead to two and a half with one day to play. Moorpark (30-12, 18-5) faces Oxnard Tuesday while Ventura (23-16, 15-7) has a doubleheader with Santa Barbara City.

"Ventura and Cuesta have been the teams to beat," said Moorpark coach Kelly Lovato. "It's just sweet to do this at home with two shutouts."

Moorpark built an early 2-0 lead in the first game on Jennifer Irvine's second-inning RBI single, after Ward had left off with a double off the left-center field wall, and Ward's third-inning RBI single, which followed Kristen Torres' single and Zakosek's double with one out.

But infield singles by Ventura's Kim Pilpil and Ashley Dasnoit put the tying runs on base with no outs in the sixth.

The Raiders' exhales came in the form of line drive to shortstop Jamie Yaller, who quickly started the triple play.

Moorpark led nearly the whole way in the second game, taking the lead in the bottom of the first inning as Neumann reached on an infield misplay, was moved over twice by sacrifices and scored on a passed ball.

College Sports Blog
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Ventura County Star sports writer and columnist Joe Curley covers college sports and soccer for this Star. This is the place to click for local college football and basketball coverage, including USC, UCLA, Moorpark College, Ventura College and Cal Lutheran.

Curley will update from live events and also interject with periodic comment on both international soccer and the local Ventura County Fusion.