(Walnut, CA) With the second doubleheader in two days, the Mt. SAC Softball team split with the Antelope Valley College Marauders Tuesday (April 27).
AVC won the first game, 10-3 and the Mounties bounced back and returned the favor with a six-inning, 10-0 shutout in the nightcap.
"I think (Tuesday) was a learning experience," Mt. SAC associate head coach Alex Mascarenas said. "Growing as a team, we kind of got our butt kicked early in the first game, but their response on how they came together and played even harder in the second game."
Highlighting the second game was a five-inning, two-hit shutout by pitcher Grace Pieson. The left hander also had a season-high 14 strikeouts.
"Grace is a super-hard worker and it was only a matter of time before she got it to click," said Mascarenas of Pieson's two-hitter. "I think (Tuesday) was a huge step for her to go in the right direction."
Mt. SAC took an early 1-0 lead in the game-one loss, but Antelope came back and scored 10 runs in the last four innings to win going away.
The Mounties came back in a big way in game two with a 13-hit attack, highlighted by a walk-off grand slam to end the game in six innings by sophomore first baseman Baylee Ledesma (1 for 3, 4 RBI).
"It's always nice, especially when it's the first one of the year," said Mascarenas, of Mt. SAC's first homerun. "Especially, since Bailey has been here for three years and she's been struggling a little bit. But for her to kind of get back on track with a grand slam was huge for her."
"It felt like the energy picked up and we wanted to win more and came together," said Mirano of the second game win. "Honestly, just having one person hit and all of us cheering and giving the same energy is contagious and pushes everyone else to hit. Every day is a learning experience and becoming a Mountie is important to all of us.
"I felt pretty good. It was the team having motivation for me and wanting me to succeed. It really helped."
The Mounties scored two runs in each of the first, fourth, and fifth innings, before the walk-off grand slam by Ledesma.
"It feels great (grand slam)," said Ledesma said of her grand slam. "Especially when you're locked up for a year without playing the sport that you love. We're grateful every day as a team to be out here practicing and we take every at bat like it's our last."
Pieson, meanwhile, struck out seven batters through the first three innings, including retiring the side in the third. With runners in scoring position on second and third in the fifth, Pieson retired the final three batters to keep the shutout in tack. She struck out four of the last five batters to secure the win.
"It felt really good and I felt a lot more confident (Tuesday)," Pieson said. "It was a good game and it felt good to have that many strikeouts, especially after being out after a year.
"I definitely trust my defense 110%."
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.