CYPRESS — A flawlessly placed bunt down the third-base line from Glendale Community College sophomore Nancy Pinedo broke up what was a perfect afternoon for the Cypress College softball team.
The single ended the perfect-game bid of Chargers pitcher Stephanie Luhmann and proved one of only a few highlights for the visiting Vaqueros, who struggled in Friday afternoon's California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern Super Regional at the hands of the two-time defending state champs via 7-1 defeat.
Glendale (29-14), which entered the double-elimination tournament seeded seventh, fell into the consolation bracket with the loss and now needs four victories over two days, beginning with a noon contest today versus either No. 3 Mt. San Antonio College (35-8) or No. 6 Bakersfield (29-13).
A win in the first consolation game would push Glendale into the consolation final, slated for half an hour after the conclusion of the first contest.
"We're playing with some big teams, some big programs that have won championships and we're going to have to play better than this," Vaqueros Coach Hawk Wilder said. "Their pitching was effective, but it wasn't anything we hadn't seen before."
If Glendale hopes to advance to Sunday's final day of tournament play, then the offense will need to improve after struggling for a second consecutive playoff game.
While Glendale bumped off Ventura, 1-0, Sunday in advancing to this weekend's tournament, on Friday the offense was down by seven when Pinedo registered the team's first hit.
The bunt single was followed by a strikeout from Luhmann, the final of eight for the hurler, who was replaced by reliever Monique Hernandez.
The Chargers sophomore wasn't nearly as accurate as her predecessor, as Hernandez walked Carley Zabka and Jena Kaser in between collecting the inning's second out on a grounder to third.
Hernandez then broke up her team's shutout when she walked Mynia Bogan to force in a run as Glendale trailed, 7-1.
Any ideas of a miraculous rally were squashed, though, two pitches later when Hernandez induced an inning-ending grounder to third from Adrienne Lozano.
"I don't think [Luhmann] was tough, we just didn't hit," Pinedo said. "We play small ball and that starts with getting hits and we didn't do that until I got that hit."
Prior to the top of the seventh, the second-seeded Chargers (39-4) flexed their muscles in dominating the contest.
Cypress opened with a three-run first inning helped along with two illegal pitches, a catcher's interference call, an outfield error and highlighted by a big two-run single from Morgan Wheeler.
"When have you ever heard of a pitcher being called for an illegal pitch?" Wilder questioned. "They said she was lifting her leg, crow-hopping and she wasn't. That threw [pitcher Brandy Morin] off today. It was just that type of day."
Cypress added a run in the second and fifth innings before designated player Courtney McGee connected on a two-run bomb in the sixth inning that extended Cypress' advantage to 7-0.
Morin (22-12) took the defeat, allowing seven runs (four earned) on seven hits.