Warriors softball sweeps San Diego Mesa, move on to Super Regionals

Warriors+softball+infielder+Sidra+Montoya+swinging+at+a+pitch+during+El+Camino%27s+Game+2+matchup+against+San+Diego+Mesa+on+Saturday%2C+May+4%2C+at+El+Camino+College.+The+Olympians+took+the+early+lead+but+El+Camino+jumped+ahead+with+two+fifth+inning+runs.+Photo+credit%3A+Mari+Inagaki
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Warriors softball sweeps San Diego Mesa, move on to Super Regionals

Warriors softball infielder Sidra Montoya swinging at a pitch during El Camino's Game 2 matchup against San Diego Mesa on Saturday, May 4, at El Camino College. The Olympians took the early lead but El Camino jumped ahead with two fifth inning runs. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

Warriors softball infielder Sidra Montoya swinging at a pitch during El Camino's Game 2 matchup against San Diego Mesa on Saturday, May 4, at El Camino College. The Olympians took the early lead but El Camino jumped ahead with two fifth inning runs. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

Warriors softball infielder Sidra Montoya swinging at a pitch during El Camino's Game 2 matchup against San Diego Mesa on Saturday, May 4, at El Camino College. The Olympians took the early lead but El Camino jumped ahead with two fifth inning runs. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

Warriors softball infielder Sidra Montoya swinging at a pitch during El Camino's Game 2 matchup against San Diego Mesa on Saturday, May 4, at El Camino College. The Olympians took the early lead but El Camino jumped ahead with two fifth inning runs. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

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In the bottom of the second inning, the atmosphere at the El Camino College softball field was intense as a constant thwap echoed across the field. Warrior infielder Sidra Montoya was at-bat and hit foul ball after foul ball from Olympians pitcher Karly Ramsey.

The El Camino Warriors softball team faced the San Diego Mesa Olympians for Game 2 of their CCCAA Softball Southern California Regional Playoffs series on Saturday, May 4, at noon. The Warriors led the best-of-three-series one game to none, having come off a decisive victory the day before.

The Olympians cheered during each one of their positive plays, culminating in the top of the seventh inning with one Olympians coach yelling “we’re louder” as San Diego Mesa’s Savannah Ames bunted to first base and sent teammate Adrianna Dorame to second.

The Warriors finished their preparation for Game 2 with a pre-game prayer, a ritual started by infielder and right-handed pitcher Diamond Lewis.

“I used to do it by myself,” said Lewis. But in the middle of the season, the Warriors decided to do the prayer as a team. “I feel like it helps our game get to the next level. Adding something spiritual gives you something extra against the other team.”

Soon after the prayer, the team orders were introduced and the Warriors won the opening coin toss, electing to give the Olympians the first at-bat.

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Warriors softball pitcher Jocelyn Hernandez delivering a pitch against the San Diego Mesa Olympians during Game 2 of their opening round matchup at El Camino College on Saturday, May 4. The Warriors won the series 2-0. Photo credit: Mari Inagaki

The Olympians took an early first-inning lead courtesy of Olympian catcher and third baseman Andrea Wright.

With the double, Wright managed to bring third baseman Isabella Casares home and placed herself on second.

“There was nothing on my mind except bringing her home,” said Wright.

From then on, El Camino and San Diego Mesa put on a defensive clinic, with the Olympians eager to maintain their lead and the Warriors hungry to overcome it.

“Softball is a lot like chess,” Warriors coach Jessica Rapoza said. “You can’t get too emotional and just have to stay the course.”

The Olympians kept their 1-0 lead until the fifth inning.

Warriors outfielder Mina Nakawake managed to bring home infielder Alena De La Torre and outfielder Kassidy Robinson, scoring a double that gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead.

“I was so happy,” said Nakawake. “I’m always put into these situations and today I really needed to make it happen.”

Nakawake had gotten a contusion on her right leg during the previous game and wasn’t sure if she would make it to play this game.

“I wasn’t expected to play but I came in handy,” said Nakawake. “I just knew I had to clutch up and it just took one good pitch.”

Rapoza felt relieved and satisfied about Nakawake’s performance.

“She’s worked really hard to be able to make such a play,” Rapoza said. “I’m happy Mina got the clutch hit and Alena and Kassie were there to make the run.”

The Warriors softball team has advanced to the Super Regionals, which will be hosted at the El Camino Softball Field on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.

“We’ve prepared all that we can, so I think we’re ready,” Rapoza said. “It’s up to the softball gods now.”

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