To say the Mt. SAC Softball and Baseball programs had stellar seasons would be an understatement. Both teams reached an illustrious stage this year on which they showcased the might of the Mounties.
The Mt. SAC Softball team reached the top of the mountain. They won their conference, reached the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships, and claimed a fifth state title. They finished the season with an outstanding record of 41-7.
“We’re extremely proud of our team for their commitment, never giving up and trusting each other and the coaching staff,” head coach Rubilena Rojas said. “Honestly, every single part of [the season] was special because it all contributed to the grand finale.”
In the dramatic CCCAA State Championship Final, the team found themselves down two runs heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when Vicky Gutierrez launched a three-run shot over the left field wall to help the team secure the championship.
The win not only represented redemption after they lost in the State Championship Final during the previous year, but also the coronation in the dawn of a new era for Mt. SAC Softball. The program’s fifth softball state title was also Rojas’ first as head coach of the Mounties.
Mt. SAC Baseball finished the season at 35-14, winning their conference and also moving on to reach the State Championships. Though their season ended in extra innings, losing to Orange Coast College in the
twelfth inning, it will go down as one of the most historic runs in the program’s legacy.
“Absolutely, this was a success. We’re of course disappointed to lose, nonetheless, we’re really happy to have gone that far. We haven’t won a conference championship in five or six years and we reached the super regionals [playoff round]; a lot of great memories,” head coach John Knott said.
Mt. SAC Baseball this year will be remembered by its their trademark tenacity, relentlessness and ability to find a way to come back and win when facing a deficit late in a game.
“We’re really proud of our group. We had a lot of guys step up. It was a lot of fun to be a part of,” Knott said. “In the state playoffs, we were down 5-0 and 4-0 in the bottom of the ninth. This group is really resilient. They didn’t quit and that leads the way for hopefully next year.”
Despite this season’s impressive achievements for the program, the work is far from over.
“We’re bringing back a lot of guys. They have a ton of experience, and we have to bring new guys. That’s always a challenge at this level,” Knott said. “The goal is to find guys who are competitors and want to become better; guys who want to become well-rounded players.”
Meanwhile, as Mt. SAC Softball celebrates through the summer, they already have their game plan set for the future.
“Recruiting what was lost. We are graduating and transferring nine players and returning 11. Therefore we still have a great core coming back. I’m excited about next year but still enjoying what we just accomplished,” Rojas said.