(Bakersfield, CA) The "dynamic duo" of Grace Pieson and Serena Navarrete teamed up again to lead the Mt. SAC Softball team to a 4-0 shutout over Santa Ana Friday (May 20) at the CCCAA State Championships in game two of the winner's bracket.
With the win, No. 1 South Seed Mt. SAC improves to 43-4 and will play No. 1 North Seed San Mateo (42-3) Saturday (May 21) with a berth to the championship game on the line.
The sophomore pitching duo of Pieson and Navarrete has allowed only one unearned run in the two games along with eight hits. All eight hits were singles.
In Friday's game, Pieson (2 Ks) got the start giving up two hits and Navarrete (2 Ks) picked up her 13th win with no losses in five innings, allowing three hits and also striking out two Santa Ana batters.
"They came on strong and had good defense (Friday) and just were aggressive overall," Mt. SAC coach Jim Bollier said.
Defense was also a big factor in the win, as three Dons players were thrown out on the base paths.
After Mt. SAC catcher Annemarie Gutierrez singled in designated player Desiree Bravo for the 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, sophomore center fielder Ashley Diaz threw out a Santa Ana runner at home in the bottom of the inning.
That was the first of three in the game.
"It was an amazing feeling, honestly," said Diaz of her throw to Gutierrez. "I wanted that, and I was already in my head saying, 'hit it to me, hit it to me,' because I knew I could throw her out at home. She did and that's what happened."
In the fifth inning, on two consecutive plays, Santa Ana had two runners caught in rundowns that ended any threat of scoring. Shortstop Ariana Coronado chased a runner back and threw to second baseman Asia Chacon for the out and first baseman Brianna Goris cut down a runner at third to end the inning.
The big offensive hit of the game came in the third inning for the Mounties.
"I had been struggling lately and I hadn't gotten that hit in the last game, but (Friday) I was able to do that," Gonzalez said. "We have so many (players) ready when we are called on to hit. It goes to show we're all ready. There's no doubt about that."
Bollier, who has been a big part of the coaching with head coach Ruby Rojas on maternity leave earlier this season, talked of the big pinch-hit by Gonzalez.
"(Gonzalez) got the count full and the runners went on the pitch and ended up hitting it to the left side to score those two runs," Bollier added.
The Mounties added another run in the fourth inning after right fielder Emily Barba (1-3, R, SB) led off with an infield hit and came home on a single to left field by Chacon for the 4-0 lead.
Santa Ana pitcher Emily Rosas struck out 12 Mountie batters in the game and later that day in an elimination game against Sierra College, became the state leader with 316 strikeouts.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.