(Walnut, CA) Mt. SAC sixth-year softball coach Ruby Rojas leads the charge for the Mt. SAC Softball team and has reloaded after transferring 13 sophomores to four-year colleges or universities last season.
'Win this pitch' is the motto for the 2018 team Rojas said of the young, but talented team.
Four returning sophomores – Carissa Felix, Sasha Allen, and twins Jackie and Jessica Olvera return from last years' CCCAA State Championship finalist team. Jessica Olvera did not play last year due to injury but is expected to lead the team in the circle along with her sister Jackie behind the plate.
"It's finally the first game and I can't believe it's here," Felix said. "I feel like I can give the freshmen my drive and energy this season."
Felix is moving over from third base to play shortstop and Allen will play in the outfield.
"I'm kind of excited," Allen said. "Last year I got to watch all of the action and this year I'm motivated to get to play."
Thirteen freshmen make up the remainder of the roster for the Mounties: Alissa Perez (OF), Erika Eklund (OF), Candace Haliburton (OF), Adriana Ramirez (C), Ericka Tiscareno (P), Amanda Esquivel (3B/Utl), Gabby Estrada (2B), Caitlyn Felina (OF), Vicky Gutierrez (3B), Briana Wheeler (P), Jayda Reyes (OF), Ciara Granado (1B/3B), Ronni Gallegos (C) and Nautica Rivera (IF).
With Mt. SAC advancing all the way to the title game, completing another 40-plus win season, Rojas will use last years' accomplishments as motivation for the upcoming season.
"Last year is done and gone but it's a great learning experience," said Rojas, who was named All Sports Coach of the Year in the South Coast Conference in 2017.
As for this season, Mt. SAC will co-host the CCCAA State Championships along with Citrus.
"It's a huge privilege and we are working towards that everyday," Rojas said. "That's our mission and we're ready to go."
Completing the coaching staff for the Mounties is long time veteran assistant, Jim Bollier, along with Alex Mascarenas and Jessica Vogel.
Mt. SAC has won 40-plus games in four of the last five seasons.
Today's opponent – Citrus College
The Owls finished with a 24-14 record last season and qualified for their 10th post season appearance out of the last 12 years under former coach Jackie Boxley.
Longtime Citrus College Assistant Softball Coach Terry Paredez takes over for Boxley, who accepted a position as Assistant Athletic Director position at the college. Boxley was the Citrus Head Coach for the last 13 years.
Follow Mt. SAC Softball on twitter @mtsac_softball
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.