(Walnut, CA) Mt. SAC Softball, which has won six 3C2A State Championships over the years, had its dream of a seventh title fall short in the eight-team tournament Friday (May 19).
No. 3 South Seed Mt. SAC, which played host to the championships, finished with one win and two losses and was eliminated Friday, May 19, with a 3-2 loss to No. 3 South Seed Cypress.
"I'm not going to lie, it's heartbreaking, but at the end of the day, the girls gave it their all," said Mt. SAC Softball coach Ruby Rojas of the state championship tournament loss. "These games don't define our entire season. When you're 40-7 it says a lot about what you've done. When you get to the state championship, anyone can win it, honestly. You just have to bring your best that day. It's not about the most talented team, it's about being your best that day."
Mt. SAC opened the state tournament with an 8-0 shutout over San Jose City College. On Day 2, the Mounties lost to rival Cerritos, 8-2. Facing elimination against Cypress, Mt. SAC lost a tight, 3-2 game.
Mt. SAC 8, San Jose City College 0 (Five innings)
A big eight-run inning propelled Mt. SAC to a five-inning win.
Mt. SAC freshman pitcher Aleyna Urbina went the distance, allowing three hits and striking out two San Jose batters.
The only runs of the game came across for the Mounties in the five-hit, eight-run second inning. with seven of those runs unearned. The Mounties sent 13 batters to the plate.
Three big blows for the Mounties scored six of the eight runs.
Mia Mendoza (1 for 3, R, 2 RBIs) singled in the first two runs, scoring Desiree Bravo (2 for 2, 2 Rs, 2 RBIs) and Katelyn Olson (1 for 3, R, 2 RBIs, Dbl.) for the 2-0 lead. Mendoza came home for the third run on the first of three fielding errors by the Jaguars.
After the bases were loaded, Mendoza and Brianna Goris (2 for 3, R) scored for the 4-0 lead. That was followed by a two-base fielding error by San Jose allowing Bravo to reach second, sending Ashley Diaz and Janis Espinoza (1 for 3, R, Tpl., RBI) to bring in the sixth and seventh runs.
Olson finished the big inning for the Mounties with a two-run double to right field for the 8-0 lead.
The Jaguars threatened in the first and second innings, leaving a runner on third each time.
Cerritos 8, Mt. SAC 2
With the game tied, 2-2 in the sixth inning, the Falcons took over the game with three in the inning and three in the seventh to win going away.
After Cerritos took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Mt. SAC tied the game in the fourth with a solo home run by second baseman Asia Chacon (1 for 4, R, RBI). The home run was the first of the year for the sophomore.
The Falcons retook the lead in the top of the fifth, but the Mounties answered again with a run to tie it, 2-2, in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, Diaz was hit by the pitch, forcing in Olson (2 for 4, R, Dbl.) for the tie.
Cypress 3, Mt. SAC 2
Cypress ended the successful season for Mt. SAC (40-7), which had another 40-win season.
The Chargers opened the game with a run in the first inning and added two more in the fifth, to take a 3-0 lead.
Through the first four innings, Mt. SAC was held in check by Chargers pitcher, Emily Rush, with only two hits and getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning.
Mt. SAC finally broke through with two runs in the fifth inning, to trail, 3-2, with four consecutive hits.
Olson (1 for 3, R) started the hit parade with an infield single, followed by another single from Chacon, who was 2 for 3 with a run scored in the game.
Olson scored the first run on an RBI double by Mendoza, who was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Mendoza came home with the only other run of the game on Mt. SAC's fourth hit of the inning by Goris (1 for 3, RBI).
Mt. SAC had one last scoring chance in the next inning but left pinch hitter Kassandra Martinez on third.
Urbina (20-4) pitched a complete game for the Mounties with two strikeouts.
Jim Bollier, Mt. SAC assistant softball coach
"The sophomores have been amazing," said Bollier, who has been with the program for years. "We went through COVID, and we have some here that stayed a little longer and we've just been excited to have them the whole time. Usually, it's two years and they're gone. They've just been amazing with their maturity and what they've been able to contribute to the freshmen, has been incredible."
Ericka Eklund, Mt. SAC assistant softball coach
"I'm proud of our team and the girls," Eklund. "Of course, everyone wants to win state, but it doesn't take away from the strong season we had. We did phenomenally well in the conference and earned numerous individual awards, including Pitcher and Player of the Year. At the end of the day, the only thing we can control is our effort and attitude. We left it all on the field and completed every pitch. This team was special and I'm thankful for the opportunity to coach such a competitive and selfish group of girls. The coaching staff is beyond compare and I love coaching alongside each of them. We will be back next season hungry and ready to compete."