By Robert Nilsen
BAKERSFIELD, CA - No. 1 Cypress Softball (47-0) will play in tomorrow's State Championship Final after a 6-4 victory over Mt. SAC (41-4) on Saturday afternoon.
Destiny Vazquez (28-0) got the start and received the victory while throwing a complete game as she allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and struck out 3 batters. Nicole Wise (4-for-4, 3 RBI) powered the Chargers offense.
Tiffany Kennedy-Cummings (17-2) received the loss for the Mounties as she allowed 3 runs on 5 hits over 2.1 innings pitched.
The Chargers ran into trouble early on as the Mounties got on the board first in the top of the first inning on a 2-run home run by Taylor Jarique.
Trailing 2-0 the Chargers pulled a run back in the bottom of the second inning as Alexis Zavala (1-for-3, RBI) crushed a leadoff homerun to centerfield to make it 2-1. The Chargers got to Cummings in the bottom of the third inning as they loaded the bases with 1 out after a walk, a single and another walk. Wise then drove a 2-run single to left center field to give the Chargers a 3-2 lead.
The Chargers offense continued to hit as Sydney McCollum (3-for-4, RBI) delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 4-2. Cypress added another run in the fifth as Emma Walker (2-for-3, RBI) blasted a leadoff homerun to push the Chargers advantage to 5-2.
The Mounties did not give up as they staged a comeback in the top of the sixth inning. After a leadoff single, Alyssa Rasso hit an RBI double off the top of the wall in centerfield to cut the Chargers lead to 5-3. The Mounties would add another run on an RBI groundout to make it 5-4.
Cypress responded quickly in the bottom of the sixth inning as McCollum hit a leadoff double and two batters later Wise ripped a single into centerfield to extend the Chargers lead to 6-4. Vasquez then shut down the Mounties in the seventh inning as she sent them down in order to end the game.
The Chargers will take on the winner of tonight's game, featuring Mt. SAC and San Mateo, at 12:00pm on Sunday. Regardless of the opponent, Cypress will have to win just 1 game while their opponent would need to knock off the Chargers in back-to-back games due to the tournament's double-elimination format.
"Our plan is to go back to the hotel, have a good dinner, have a great night sleep, and come back tomorrow and win it in one game," Head Coach Brad Pickler said.
If the Chargers do get it done in one game they will become the first undefeated State Champions in CCCAA softball history.
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