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Mt. SAC Softball Defeats ELAC, 9-0 to Finish a Perfect 22-0 in South Coast Conference

Sophomore center fielder Ally Longtree (2 for 3, run, RBI, SB) - Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage
Sophomore center fielder Ally Longtree (2 for 3, run, RBI, SB) - Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage

(Walnut, CA) Fourteen shutouts, 174 runs scored, 226 hits, .371 average, 14 runs allowed, 0.46 ERA, all highlight a perfect 22-0 season in the South Coast Conference by the Mt. SAC Softball Team. The Mounties put an explanation point on it with a commanding 9-0, five-inning SCC blanking of visiting East Los Angeles College on sophomore Day Wednesday (4/24).

With the win, Mt. SAC (36-4) matched its overall regular season win total of 36, achieved in 2011.

With a 1-0 lead heading into the second inning, the Mounties scored seven runs for the 8-0 advantage and went on to wrap up their undefeated conference season in style.

"Our goal is to finish May 19th," said Mt. SAC Softball coach Ruby Rojas, referring to the final day of the 2019 season at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships in Bakersfield.

"The girls are prepared and just focus on us and what's between those white lines. I just want them to know that I truly, genuinely care about them and their well-being."

Mt. SAC third baseman Ciara Granado (1 for 2, run, 2 RBIs) connected with her fifth home run in the last eight games, while first baseman Vicky Gutierrez (2 for 2, run, 2 RBIs) had two doubles.

"(This year) I'm just more confident and relaxed mentally at the plate," Granado said. "I'm really proud of my team also with the 36 wins and hopefully we'll do it in state. I can't wait to start playoffs."

Also, with two hits was sophomore center fielder Ally Longtree (2 for 3, run, RBI, SB).

Sophomore pitcher Briana Wheeler (21-1) again came through with another one-hitter, retiring the first 11 batters before a double in the fourth inning. Wheeler, who will be playing at the University of Hawaii Hilo next season, struck out seven of the 11 ELAC batters before the only hit of the game.

Wheeler has recorded five 1-hitters this season.

"It's definitely gone by fast, but I think I appreciated every moment being with my teammates," said freshman Quinn De Avila, who may be moving on to the next level next season. "Coach is definitely a role model and someone we can always talk to. She takes the time to really get to know her players."

What the sophomores said:

Candace Haliburton: "It really motivates me to help get the girls going. My goal is to get another ring (championship). It (having a young child) definitely motivates me to help strive for my dreams."

Ronni Gallegos: "I'm extremely proud to play for Mt. SAC. It's such a supportive atmosphere to be around and I get excited to go to practice every day to see my coaches and work hard."

Alyssa Guzman: "Anytime my name is called I just know that I have to be ready. We all have our role to play. It's just a learning process. Coach Rojas has taught us a lot. Honestly, I've been on such a great team this year."

Erika Eklund: "It's an amazing program. I think everyone here is very supportive of each other, especially our coaching staff. They push us to be our very best."

Everybody has become so much more confident with her (Coach Rojas). It goes beyond softball, but about life."

Gabby Estrada: "Mt. SAC has been a great choice for me. To win back-to-back championships would be huge, but just coming in and earning my spot here is even more of an accomplishment for myself.

It's sad (two years at Mt. SAC almost over), but we're not going to finish yet. We have a few more games to go and want that ring."

Briana Wheeler: "It (two years at Mt. SAC) went by extremely fast and I can't even imagine the next three weeks are going to go by even faster. I'm just enjoying every little moment with them (teammates) and I know we'll finish strong."

The Mounties, who are one of four teams that will host CCCAA So Cal Regional first-round games, will start the defense of their 2018 state championship next Friday (5/3) at 7:00 pm. Seedings for the 34-team state playoffs will take place Saturday (4/27) and will be announced on the CCCAA web site.

Mt. SAC, which won state titles in 2003, '05, '07. '09 and '18, will seek to win its sixth state crown. The Mounties are second in wins to Cypress, which has nine titles.

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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.