(Walnut, CA) With its backs against the wall and in a must-win situation, the Mt. SAC Softball Team swept a doubleheader from Bakersfield College in the CCCAA Southern California Super Regional on Saturday (May 14) to advance to the state championship next week (May 19-21).
No. 1 South Seed Mt. SAC (41-4) will take on No. 4 North Seed San Jose City College (36-5), Thursday (May 19) at 4:30 pm at Bakersfield College.
After a 7-4 loss in the opener of a three-game series on Friday (May 13) to No. 8 Seed Bakersfield, the Mounties had to win two games on Saturday to advance to their fourth consecutive state championship tournament and 14th in the last 18 years.
The Mounties defeated Bakersfield in the first game of the day, 6-4, and 4-1 in game two.
In those previous 13 appearances, the Mounties have won six state titles and have finished as runner-up five times.
Mt. SAC, the 2018-19 State Champions, will attempt to become the first team since Cypress College completed the three-peat in 2010-'12.
No state championship tournament was held in 2020-21.
"We just didn't play well (Friday) and (Saturday) was totally different," said Mt. SAC Softball Coach Jim Bollier, referring to Friday's game-one loss. "It was a 180 and the girls were fired up and they wanted it and they came out and they gave it their all. The girls just played better (Saturday), all around."
"Serena (Navarrete) pulled it through (in relief) in the last two innings and Grace (Pieson) did a phenomenal job starting. That was a total team coaching staff effort, 100 percent."
Bollier, who has been in the program for many years and has seen his share of ups and downs, realized Mt. SAC is the defending champion.
"After two years of Covid and the layover, it just seems like the last championship (2019) we played was so long ago and how could they be connected," Bollier added. "We're just defending it."
Leading the way in the two games for the Mounties was freshman second baseman Asia Chacon (5 for 8, 3 R, 2 RBIs, Dbl, SB) and freshman designated player Desiree Bravo (4 for 7, R, 2 RBIs, Dbl., 2 SBs).
"It definitely feels good and it was a team effort," Chacon said. "Our big thing was being selfless this year and I think being selfless is what won us these two games, back-to-back."
One of Goris' three hits was huge, as the state's No. two home run hitter with 15, connected with a two-run shot in the second and deciding game in the fifth inning to give the Mounties a 4-1 lead.
"It felt amazing," Goris said. "Just to go up there and see the mistake and just take advantage of it. The second she left it up, I was just so happy and I knew."
All weekend, Bakersfield pitcher Talia Nielson had been trying to pitch around her, but the aggressive Goris smacked it over the left-field fence where a good portion of her home runs have landed this season.
"She squared it up and did a good job," said Bollier, of the state's top hitter. "She just wants to get in there and hit anything that's close."
Pieson, with 4.2 innings pitched in the first game, won her 24th game of the season striking out five batters, while Navarrete picked up her fourth save of the season in two innings with no hits.
In the second game, Pieson (3.1 Inn.) started and was relieved by Navarrete, who pitched the final three-plus innings for her 12th win.
Follow Mt. SAC Softball on Twitter @mtsac_softball
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.