(Walnut, CA) With one swing of the bat, Mt. SAC catcher Michelle Santiago waited for the perfect moment to hit her first home run of the season. The Mounties held on for the 2-1, come-from-behind win over No. 3 seed Ohlone College in the opening game of the CCCAA State Championships Thursday afternoon.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, the sophomore connected with the home run over the center field wall. Scoring ahead of her was teammate Michelle Banales, who reached base on a two-out error.
"It's more emotional than anything, since I'm one of the few sophomores that hasn't hit a home run yet," Santiago said. "It was a thrill running home and seeing all of my teammates there. Nothing better."
With the win the No. 2 South seed Mounties (38-7) face a familiar South Coast Conference opponent, No. 4 seed El Camino (36-10) in a winners bracket game on Saturday. Game time is 11:00 am.
Mt. SAC defeated El Camino twice in conference action this season, 4-3 and 10-0.
In a game that saw a combined eight hits between the two teams, Mt. SAC freshman centerfielder Caitlyn Felina (2 for 3) was the only player with two hits.
Ohlone opened the game with a 1-0 lead on a solo home run that stood up until the go-ahead shot by Santiago.
Mt. SAC starter Briana Wheeler pitched the first 4 1/3 innings, striking out five batters. Wheeler was relieved in the fifth inning by Jessica Olvera (9-1), who retired eight of the nine Renegade batters she faced for the victory.
"It's the first game of the tournament and there's always nerves involved," Mt. SAC coach Ruby Rojas said. "But at the end of the day the girls chipped away and never gave up.
"(Santiago) has always had the potential (to hit a home run) and came through when we absolutely needed it."
Follow Mt. SAC Softball on twitter @mtsac_softball
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.