San Joaquin Delta returns to softball state championship tournament; Eight-team field set

San Joaquin Delta softball
San Joaquin Delta softball

CCCAA Softball Championship
Qualifiers
   South - 1. Palomar, 2. Mt. San Antonio, 3. Cypress, 4. El Camino
   North - 1. College of San Mateo, 2. Sierra, 3. Ohlone, 4. San Joaquin Delta
Brackets: Tournament Bracket  | SoCal Super RegionalNorCal Super Regional

By Thomas Lawrence 
Stockton Record Correspondent

STOCKTON — With two swings of the bat, the Delta College softball team buried its frustrating streak of stranding base runners and began its ascension into the state finals.

Seventh-seeded Delta swept No. 8 San Jose City 5-3, 9-4 on Saturday afternoon at home at “Bucky” Layland Softball Complex. The Mustangs (28-16) advance to their second consecutive state Elite Eight.

This year, the California Community College Athletic Association expanded the championship tournament to an eight-team format – four from the north and four from the south.

The championships are next weekend at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, just east of Los Angeles.

Delta stranded 10 runners on-base in a 1-0 loss in Friday’s series opener, and left another three hanging through the first two innings of Saturday’s Game 1.

But with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Shay Trent smacked a two-run double down the third-base line. The next batter, Riquel Rivera (Millennium High graduate), pounded another two-run double off the center field wall.

Trent, a freshman from Oakdale, thrived on Saturday and went 6 for 7 with two doubles and four RBI combined.

“Once I saw the ball hit the ground fair, I was booking it,” said Trent, whose double tucked just fair and over the third base bag. “There was so much joy I had in that moment.

″...Our whole team was juiced to play today. That loss yesterday put a fire in our stomachs.”

Delta reliever Samantha Martinez brought the potential Jaguars’ go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh after hitting a batter and allowing a single. But the lefty induced a groundout to shortstop Tawny Deerinck (Manteca High) to end it.

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