Mounties Outlast Comets for 2018 CCCAA State Softball Title

Mt. San Antonio College celebrates their 2018 CCCAA State Softball Championships. Photo By: Richard Quinton
Mt. San Antonio College celebrates their 2018 CCCAA State Softball Championships. Photo By: Richard Quinton

Walnut, CA - In a back and forth affair, that saw four lead changes in seven innings between the top two teams in the State, the Mt. San Antonio College Mounties outlasted Palomar College 5-4, to earn their first CCCAA State Softball Title since 2009. 

Palomar wasted little time getting going. Sarah Fisher would hit the fourth pitch of the game a good 20 yards past the left field fence, giving the Comets an early 1-0 lead. Mt. SAC would threaten in the bottom half of the inning after Carissa Felix led the inning off with an infield single to third base. Felix would move to second on a sacrifice, but would get left there. 

After the Comets stranded a runner in the top of the second, the Mounties would threaten again after a leadoff walk by Michelle Santiago. After advancing to second on another picture perfect sacrifice bunt, Head Coach Ruby Rojas went to the bench and brought in Sasha Allen to pinch run. Allen would advance to third on a wild pitch, and then scored in that same at bat when Amanda Esquivel hit a RBI single to shallow right. 

Palomar would get another chance in the top of the third, but they stranded runners again, this time a pair. Mt. SAC wouldn't have the same problem in the bottom of the third. The Mounties would load up the bases, using a Caitlyn Felina single, a Ciara Granado double to a gap in left field, and a walk by Michelle Banales. That brought a red-hot Santiago to the plate, who lifted a fly ball to left that was enough for Felina to score from third and give the Mounties their first lead of the day 2-1. 

After stranding runners in the second, third, and fourth innings, the Comets would come up big in the top of the fifth. Jordan Zamora would lead the inning with a walk, followed by a one-out infield single from Fisher. That brought Alicia Garcia to the dish, looking to break out of a 2-for-11 slump. Garcia did just that, in a big way, taking a high and almost outside pitch over the fence in left field to make it 4-2 Palomar. 

Though Palomar came on strong in the top of the fifth, Mt. SAC never quit battling. While they weren't able to get anything going in the bottom of the fifth, they came through in the bottom of the sixth. Santiago stayed hot with a single to center, followed by a Haliburton single. The two would advance to second and third on a passed ball, but it didn't end up mattering as Vicky Gutierrez got the biggest hit of the season when she blasted a ball to left give the Mounties a 5-4 lead. 

In the top of the sixth, Rojas went to the bench again, putting Jessica Olvera in the circle for the second time this weekend. Olvera did exactly as asked in the top of the sixth, giving up a pair of infield singles before setting the next three batters down in order. In the top of the seventh, Olvera struck out the first batter she faced and then had the next two ground out to secure the Mounties first title since 2009. 

Olvera (10-1) would earn the win, allowing just two base runners in her two innings of work, both on those infield singles. Santiago, would finish 1-for-1 with a run and an RBI, earning State Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Felina would finish 2-for-2 with a run, and Gutierrez was 1-for-3 with the three-run blast. 

For Palomar, Fisher finished the weekend with the highest batting average of any player after going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI. Kyle Pignone would go 2-for-3, and Allie Hughen was 2-for-2, as all three were named All-Tournament selections.

It's the fifth State Championship for the Mounties in their program's history, and the first under Rojas. 

All-Tournament Team

 

 

 

Most Valuable Player

Michelle Santiago - SO - C - Mt. San Antonio College

Most Valuable Pitcher

Briana Wheeler - SO - P - Mt. San Antonio College

Best Hitter

Sarah Fisher - FR - RF - Palomar College

Golden Glove

Sydney McCollum - SO - SS - Cypress College

 

 

 

Pitcher (3)

Briana Wheeler

Mt. San Antonio College

 

Allie Hughen

Palomar College

 

Lauren Quirke

College of San Mateo

 

 

 

Infielders (4)

Diamond Lewis

El Camino College

 

Sydney McCollum

Cypress College

 

Carissa Felix

Mt. San Antonio College

 

Crystal DesLauries

Palomar College

 

 

 

Wild Cards (2)

Amaryssa Medina

Sierra College

 

Kylie Pignone

Palomar College

 

 

 

Catchers (2)

Kellee Ross

Cypress College

 

Michelle Santiago

Mt. San Antonio College

 

 

 

Outfielders (4)

Karla Calderon

El Camino College

 

Allie Stines

College of San Mateo

 

Sarah Fisher

Palomar College

 

Caitlyn Felina

Mt. San Antonio College