Vaqueros hit the road for Regional Playoffs

SBCC has been seeded 10th for the Southern Regional softball playoffs and will open a best-of-3 series on the road at No. 7 seed Santa Ana. Game 1 will be Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m. Game 2 is set for Sunday, May 8, at noon, followed by a third game, if necessary, at 2 p.m.

The Vaqueros (31-5) won the Western State Conference Gold Division with a 16-2 record and beat Mt. San Antonio, the No. 1 seed in the Regional, 1-0 on April 8. Santa Ana (26-14) is the fifth-place team from the Orange Empire League and went 10-11 in conference play.

“We’re excited to be the WSC champs and look forward to participating in the Regional playoffs,” said SBCC coach Paula Congleton. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a home series but we’ll be ready to play at Santa Ana.”

The Vaqueros, led by WSC Pitcher of the Year Kailey Snyder and Player of the Year Laura Cannon, are ranked No. 7 in Southern Cal and Santa Ana is No. 8. The playoff seedings were largely based on conference strength and the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index).

The RPI ranks teams by the strength of their opponents’ schedule. Santa Ana is No. 8 in the Southern Cal RPI and SBCC is No. 11.

The Orange Empire League, the top-ranked conference in Southern Cal, got five teams in the 16-team Regional. The WSC Gold Division, rated fifth out of six conferences, has two teams — the Vaqueros and Ventura.