(Bakersfield, CA) One big inning was all it took for the Mt. SAC Softball team to come away with a first-game, 6-1, win over San Jose City College in the CCCAA State Championships on Thursday (May 19) at Bakersfield College.
After retiring the first six Mt. SAC (42-4) batters, SJCC (36-6) defense fell apart for in the third, as the Mounties had five hits and capitalized on six errors for six runs.
With the win, (S1) Mt. SAC will face (S3) Santa Ana, which defeated (N2) Butte in 10 innings, 3-2.
"They're excited," said Mt. SAC Coach Ruby Rojas, of the completely new team this year at the state playoffs. "This is why we always start our season at Bakersfield and end our season at Bakersfield.
"This is a brand-new team and they have their own identity and we just put them in the best position to win."
Rojas, who has guided the Mounties to its last two CCCAA Championships, talked about the pitching staff and its depth.
"They're a great combo," said Rojas, of Mountie pitchers Grace Pieson and Serena Navarrete. "We even have Jill (Molina), who we haven't needed to use yet, but she's a phenomenal drop pitcher. It's hard for hitters to adjust between the two (Pieson and Navarrete)."
The Mounties sent 10 players to the plate in the third inning, highlighted by doubles by shortstop Ariana Coronado (1-1, R, Dbl., RBI) and third baseman Brianna Goris (1-3, R, Dbl. RBI). Singles by center fielder Ashley Diaz (1-2, R, SB), designated player Desiree Bravo (1-3, R) and catcher Annemarie Gutierrez (1-3, RBI) along with the six San Jose miscues was all the Mounties needed to secure the win.
Mt. SAC had only one hit the rest of the way, but on the other side of the ball, the pitching duo of Pieson (25-4) and Navarrete held the Jaguars to only three hits.
"I think it's really important to stay humbled," Mt. SAC starter Pieson said. "Because, at the end of the day, if you want to make it this far you just have to believe in yourself. It's a team sport.
"I'm just excited being here and I know we're more than capable to finish the job."
Just like the two pitchers did all season, following each other, they did the same in a post-game interview.
Navarrete echoed Pieson's thoughts on the tandem and the team sport.
"We make a good duo," Navarrete said. "Our fans say we're the "dynamic duo." We're really blessed to have each other. We support each other and if one gets pulled out, we cheer on the other."
They both did an equally great job in game one, with starter Pieson going four and a-third innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven. Navarrete finished up the game with two and two-thirds innings, allowing a single and striking out four.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.