By John M. Sherrard
(Walnut, CA) The Mt. SAC Softball team is back in familiar territory, the CCCAA post-season – their 14th trip to the Southern California Regional Championships in the last 15 years.
With an 11-7 victory and two-game sweep of No. 16 seed Ventura College on Saturday, the No. 2 seed Mounties will host the four-team Super Regionals beginning Friday at Mt. SAC.
An 11th trip to the CCCAA State Championships will be on the line as the Mounties (37-3) open the Super Regionals this Friday against South Coast Conference opponent, No. 7 Cerritos College (28-13). The other two teams in the Mt. SAC Super Regionals are No. 3 seed El Camino (36-6) and No. 6 seed Antelope Valley. They will play in the second game at the conclusion of game one.
The double-elimination Regional will continue Saturday, May13 with three games and conclude on Sunday, May 14 with the championship.
The Mounties opened with a first-round, game-one 8-0 victory on Friday and came back with timely hitting and a 7-run seventh inning in game two to break open a close game and win going away.
With the Mounties holding a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning, Ventura took its only lead of the game, 5-4, in the top of the fifth. However, the Mounties responded with four hits, two walks and a three-run home run by sophomore shortstop Kayla Sok (2 for 2, 3 runs, 2 HRs 4 RBIs, 2 SB) as they sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the inning.
"This year we are a lot more hungry to win," said Sok, who was named to the All-So Cal and SCC team. "I'm excited, just excited to play."
Mt. SAC advanced to the championship game in the Super Regionals last season, but lost to the eventual State Champion Santiago Canyon.
Prior to Sok's shot, freshman third baseman Carissa Felix (1-3, run, 2 RBIs) added the other big hit in the inning with a two-run single to center, scoring sophomore twin sisters Toni Mendoza (1-4, run) and Erin Mendoza (1-1, RBI).
Earlier in the game the Mounties took a 2-0 first-inning lead on a sacrifice fly by sophomore second baseman Mandy Larios, scoring Sok and a solo home run by sophomore catcher Taylor Jaurique (1-3, 2 runs, RBI).
"They (Ventura) outhit us, but when that happens we rely on our defense and it was really good (Saturday) and that's what usually wins the games."
Jaurique was recently named to the All-State team and Player of the Year in the SCC.
"We're hosting and that's a big advantage," added Jaurique of the Super Regionals. "We love our field and that helps out a lot."
Mt. SAC added a solo run in the third inning off the bat of Sok for her first round-tripper of the game, to lead, 3-1.
Sophomore pitcher, who pitched a perfect game against Ventura in the opener, closed out the game in the seventh to help send the Mounties to the Super Regionals.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.