(Walnut, CA) Team 23 is ready and waiting for the opening game for the Mt. SAC Softball season.
It all gets underway in their annual opening games at Bakersfield on Friday (January 27) and Saturday (Jan. 28).
The Mounties, who are very familiar with Bakersfield, as they have numerous state championship appearances on that field, will open with defending CCCAA State Champion San Mateo, host Bakersfield (Friday), and one game on Saturday against Santiago Canyon.
"We are excited about Team 23," Mt. SAC 10th-year Softball Head Coach Ruby Rojas said. "We have a lot of returners (12), which includes Brianna Goris, our (CCCAA) State Player of the Year."
Goris, a sophomore, was named an All-American, led most of the season with the top batting average in the state, finished second in home runs with 15, and ended up second with a .532 average. She also had 67 hits, which was the fifth most in the state, and 23 doubles (2nd in state).
"We will have Katelyn "Diggy" Olson with us this year," Rojas added. "She is a kickback from Cal State University, Fullerton and we have four freshmen pitchers, which is super exciting. All are very different, one of which comes from the University of California, Riverside.
Other top returners for Team 23 are infielder Asia Chacon (.414 average last year), Emily Barba (.320 avg., OF), Desiree Bravo (.362, INF/OF) along with catchers Mireya Amezcua (.298 avg.), Celeste Cortez and Kassandra Martinez.
"It's still too soon to know what this team will do, but we have excellent team chemistry, a lot of speed, and physical talent. We are excited to be hosting this year, and our primary goal is to win the last game."
Rojas, who has coached the team to two state titles, refers to Mt. SAC hosting the CCCAA State Championships in May. It'll be the second time Mt. SAC has hosted the finals.
As for the coaching staff, Rojas has once again assembled a top unit.
"My coaching staff is the absolute best, and we are so lucky to have each and every one of them," Rojas said.
"New to the staff is Anthony Gonzalez. He played baseball at La Verne and will be working with our hitters and infielders. We are thrilled to have him on staff.
"Returning is Erika Eklund, a former player from Team '18 and '19 that won back-to-back championships and she will be helping me with the outfielders. Lastly, my right hand is Coach B (Jim Bollier), who will continue working with our pitching staff. I do not have enough words that describe how grateful I am for him. He is the glue of this team. Love him to pieces."
Bollier, who has been with the program for 15 years, and with Rojas for 13 adds his comments about Team '23.
"This is going to be an exciting season for Team 23," Bollier said. "To see God's grace with the birth of coach Rojas' new son, Roman, born strong and healthy and to have her back in the helm doing what she does best for this Mt. SAC team is absolutely amazing.
"She is an assistant coach's dream, with the support and encouragement that she has always provided. I am fired up about working with this new coaching staff and team once again this year. We have quite a few returning sophomores with state championship playoff experience as well as some strong freshman players that are excited to contribute to team goals."
Bollier has seen assistant coaches come and go and is very excited about the Team '23 staff.
"I'm very much looking forward to working with our coaching staff and our new assistant coach Gonzalez," Bollier added. "With our amazing returning coach Eklund to share our motivation and experiences together in helping guide this new Team '23 one day at a time."
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.