(Walnut, CA) For the 15th time in the last 19 seasons, the Mt. SAC Softball team is headed to the California Community College Athletic Association (3C2A) State Championships.
For the second year in a row, Mt. SAC's path to the state championships has come against Bakersfield College. The Mounties, who defeated Bakersfield last year in three games, swept the Renegades on Friday and Saturday (May 12-13) with an 8-0 win in five innings on Saturday in the 3C2A Super Regionals.
The Mounties, who improved to 38-5, defeated Bakersfield 12-1 on Friday to open the playoffs in the best-of-three-game series.
In addition, Mt. SAC has won 22 consecutive games and is the No. 2 seed from the South entering the state championships. Palomar is the No. 1 seed from the South.
For the second game in a row against the Renegades, Mt. SAC jumped out to a big lead with all eight runs in the first inning on five hits.
With two outs and a runner on third, the floodgates opened as four walks and five hits later, the Mounties had eight runs.
Highlighting the inning was a two-run single by sophomore catcher Mireya Amezcua (1 for 2, run, 2 RBIs), a two-run triple by sophomore left fielder Desiree Bravo (1 for 2, run, 2 RBIs), and four walks issued by Bakersfield pitcher Kadyn Smith.
Prior to the big inning by the Mounties, Bakersfield loaded the bases in the top of the first on three consecutive singles, but Mt. SAC pitcher Mirannda Rodriguez (15-0) got the last two batters to pop out to end the threat.
The freshman allowed only one more hit and five baserunners over the last four innings for the win.
What they said:
Celeste Cortez, sophomore catcher: "Honestly, I'm really stoked. We wouldn't be able to do this without one another. Not only that, it was a thrill. I just know in my gut we're going to get there. We want it this year."
Aleyna Urbina, freshman pitcher: "I'm really excited to be going to the state playoffs and knowing that my teammates are going to be behind me."
Desiree Bravo, sophomore left fielder: "I feel amazing. I had all the confidence in the world in us to get it done. We're trying to get home as fast as we can. Five and we're done (state champion)."
Asia Chacon, sophomore second baseman: It's really exciting. We've been working since July and I think from then until now we've seen a lot of growth in the team and individually. It's been super fun.
We are an extension of one another. We always want to make sure that no matter what that I'm rooting for you and you're rooting for me and it's healthy competition always."
Katelyn Olson, sophomore shortstop: "We all know we have each other's backs. Just knowing that going into state, we know we can do anything no matter what team comes at us, we got them.
Last year we had a chance to win it, but for me, as a red shirt it was fun to watch, but it was heartbreaking to see the team not go as you want it, but I think this year with all the new girls and everything, we have a lot of heart and grit, we're just going to go right at them and do what we do as Mt. SAC Softball."