(Bakersfield, CA) It's been eight months since the Mt. SAC Softball Team captured its sixth CCCAA State Championship. The Mounties returned to the sight of their 2019 championship triumph at Bakersfield for a trio of games to begin the defense of their title.
They picked up right where they left off with an offensive explosion, scoring 34 runs on 49 hits for a three-game sweep over Santiago Canyon (12-0), host Bakersfield (15-1) and a come-from-behind win over San Mateo (7-6) Friday and Saturday, (Jan. 24, 25)..
"Overall, it was a great first weekend," Mt. SAC Interim Head Coach Alex Mascarenas said. "We hit very well and got tested early in the season. The San Mateo game showed the teams' mental toughness and ability to push through adversity."
"Our pitching staff pitched very well as a group over the weekend. We also have a lot to improve on and will continue to work every day to fine tune all the small details. But, we are happy with the results through our first three games of the season."
Sophomore center fielder Nicole Siess led the Mounties in the three games, going 7 for 12 at the plate, which included 5 RBIs, home run, two doubles and two singles.
Mt. SAC 12, Santiago Canyon 0
With Mt. SAC leading 6-0 in the sixth inning, the Mounties exploded for six more runs in the seventh inning for the 12-0 lead.
Leading the way for Mt. SAC was Siess with a 4 for 5 debut and scored two runs. The Purdue University transfer banged out a single, two doubles, and a two-run home run along with two RBIs.
"As a team, we came out to establish the standard for the season," said Siess, who played her freshman season at Purdue University. "Our biggest challenge is to block out comparisons, distractions and expectations and take a deep breath, lock in and play our game.
"After three big wins, it is important to have a short term memory and avoid coasting or becoming complacent. We plan to come out with fight and grit every game, prepared to do anything to get the win."
Right fielder Megan Jones had three hits - single, triple and a home run and also scored two runs. First baseman Baylee Ledesma was 2 for 2, with a two-run home run and a triple, along with Charleen Macias (2 for 2, HR, RBI).
In the circle, sophomore pitcher Alexia Silvas won her first game of the season for the Mounties.
Mt. SAC 15, Bakersfield 1 (5 Inn.)
The bats stayed hot in the second game as the Mounties had 21 hits, including multiple hits by Macias (3 Hits, 2 Runs, 2 RBIs), freshman right fielder Brianna Mills (3 for 2, Tpl., 2 RBIs), designated player Alexis (2 Hits, RBI), shortstop Clarissa Ortega (1 for 2, Dbl., 2 Runs), left fielder Valerie Alcala (2 for 2, RBI) and Ledesma (2 for 2, 2 RBIs).
Leading 1-0 in the second, the Mounties had another big inning with seven runs on seven hits, which included a two-run home run by Jones (1 for 1, SB, 2 Runs). Three runs came across in the third and four more in the fourth to shorten the game in the fifth.
Mt. SAC sophomore pitcher Annalisa Panuco picked up the win.
Mt. SAC 7, San Mateo 6
After two blow out wins on Friday, the Mounties suddenly found themselves down by four runs, 6-2, in the fourth inning. San Mateo, which defeated Mt. SAC in the first game of the season last year, took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on two home runs.
The Mounties scored solo runs on home runs by sophomore catcher Alyssa Martinez (3 for 3, 2 Runs, RBI) and Siess (2 for 4, 3 RBIs, Run) in the second and third innings to trail, 3-2.
The Bulldogs scored three more runs in the third and fourth innings.
The Mounties comeback began in the sixth inning with three runs on an RBI single by sophomore left fielder Ashley Rivera (1 for 2) and a two-run double by Siess to trail, 6-5.
The big blow of the game, though, came in the top of the seventh inning as sophomore shortstop Quinn De Avila (1 for 3, Run, 2 RBIs) hit a two-run home run to put the Mounties up, 7-6.
"Hitting the go-ahead home run to help with the come-from-behind win felt amazing," Avila said. "I was just focusing on helping my team, by moving a home run."
"This weekend I was struggling to get on the bases, but had good solid contact. I just listened to Coach Alex (Mascarenas) telling me to stay calm and trust the work I put in."
Freshman pitcher Serena Navarrete (1-0) picked up her first college win as the San Mateo batter lined out to first to end the game.
Mascarenas was pleased at the "..... no quit attitude" with the girls. "This game challenged the girls and then to see the no-quit mentality was great."
The Mounties travel to Antelope Valley College for a non-conference game Wednesday (Jan. 29).
Follow Mt. SAC Softball on twitter @mtsac_softball
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.