For two years, Briana Wheeler dominated in the pitching circle for the Mt. San Antonio College softball team. She will forever be a part of Mounties history as she again was named Most Valuable Pitcher for the second straight year in helping Mt. SAC earn a second CCCAA state title in a row. The long state tournament concluded Tuesday with a 7-4 win in the championship final over Palomar.
It was Mt. SAC's sixth state title (all since 2003) as the South Coast Conference leads all other conferences with its 15th state softball trophy.
The back-to-back championships, a first for any SCC member, were orchestrated by Mounties head coach Ruby Rojas. Wheeler pitched her team to four victories, improved her personal circle record to 28-1 (plus a 0.99 ERA) and allowed Mt. SAC to finish the season at 44-5 overall.
Tourney Most Valuable Player went to Mt. SAC third baseman Ciera Granado, who slugged a 3-run homer in a 6-run, fifth inning for the Mounties. First baseman Vicky Gutierrez followed Granado with a solo blast. Shortstop Quinn De Avila received the tourney's Golden Glove award for best defensive player.
Mt. SAC went 8-1 in the postseason, suffering its only loss to SCC foe Cerritos, 8-4, in the SoCal Regionals First Round series. The Mounties had a perfect record of 22-0 to win the SCC North Division title, the program's fourth consecutive conference championship.
El Camino (37-8), the No. 4 seed and SCC South Division champions, got as far as the SoCal Super Regionals (Round 2) before losing in three games to #5 Fullerton.
SOFTBALL TOP AWARDS AND SOUTH COAST SUCCESS
Wheeler was named the 3CFCA SoCal Pitcher of the Year and El Camino's Diamond Lewis 3CFCA Player of the Year in a double state award sweep by SCC student-athletes. Cerritos' Tena Spoolstra was selected as the New Balance/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Golden Shoe recipient as the state's top stolen base leader. Wheeler, Gutierrez and Mt. SAC teammate Ally Longtree, along with El Camino's Lewis and Jocelyn Hernandez represented the South Coast as NFCA All-Americans and All-State. Making All-SoCal Region were Spoolstra, El Camino's Mina Nakawake and Pasadena City's Kaylee Medrano.
With El Camino still going as a final four participant in this weekend's state baseball tournament, the South Coast now has five state team titles to its credit in the 2018-19 sports season. The others were Cerritos College in both women's track and field and men's soccer, LA Harbor in women's cross country and Mt. San Antonio in men's cross country. In all, the South Coast Conference has produced 209 state team championships in its history dating back to 1970.
Long Beach City College won the 2019 men's volleyball state title, but as a member of the Western State Conference.