COSTA MESA -- Playing against the defending state champions, the Orange Coast College softball team hung tough with visiting Cypress College before falling, 8-4, on Tuesday at the OCC Softball Complex.
After a rough start that saw the Chargers (19-2, 9-1 in Orange Empire Conference) take a 4-0 lead in the first inning, OCC (10-14, 2-8) battled back in the middle innings.
Cypress pushed its lead back up to five with a two-run fifth, but again, the Pirates responded in the bottom of the fifth another two-run rally. A walk by Cora Tyo and a single by Audrey Beck put runners on first and second with one out. Jessica Scotty hit a grounder to short, but the throw sailed wide, allowing Tyo to score and Beck to go to third. An RBI-grounder by Danielle Votendahl scored Beck to make it 7-4.
But the Pirates would get no closer as Chargers' starter Hope Davalos (15-2) shut the door the rest of the way. She allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Votendahl, who came in relief in the first inning, pitched seven strong innings against one of the top teams in the state, holding the Chargers to just four runs after the rough start.
Beck finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Votendahl added a hit, a run and an RBI.
Coast will return to action on Friday at home against Golden West College, beginning at 2 p.m.