Softball finishes season fourth in state

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Tawny Deerinck makes a tag at second
Tawny Deerinck makes a tag at second base during an attempted steal by Palomar. Photo by Paul Muyskens

While the season did not end with a California Community College Athletic Association state championship, there is still plenty to be proud of as the Delta College softball team made it back to the state tournament for the second year in a row and returned home on Monday after a fourth-place finish.

“I’m proud of them,” said head coach Jim Fisher after a 6-4 loss to Palomar ended the Mustangs’ season with a 38-8 record and a 10-win improvement over last season.

“They made a commitment to get here and put together a better showing and they did. They should be proud of themselves.”

Last season, the Mustangs did not win a game at the state finals, but this season they picked up two wins. They opened up the weekend with a 5-2 win over Cypress and later won an elimination game over Big 8 Conference rival Sacramento City by a 2-0 final score which ended the Panthers’ season.

Sophomore Mikaela Ferreira was selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as a 2019 Cal JC All-American after a season that saw her lead the team in multiple offensive categories as she hit .539 with 11 home runs and 53 runs batted in while not striking out over 167 at bats.

“Going through an entire season without punching out and having a lot of big hits she made our games easier to play because she was driving people in,” said Fisher about his All-American, who played a key part in both of the wins during the state tournament.

With the Mustangs trailing 2-1 and down to the last four outs, Ferreira came through with a two-out, two-run single to give the Mustangs the lead. Ashley Laughlin followed with a two-out, two-run single of her own to extend the lead on the way to a 5-2 win over Cypress to open the state finals.

Last season the Mustangs’ season came to an end with a loss to the Chargers.

“In the beginning of the season we knew we had some talent,” said Fisher. “We went through some bumps and valleys and had some adversity but as a group, we kept on going and going.”

After a 5-3 loss to San Mateo put the Mustangs a loss away from the season coming to an end they faced adversity and were able to win one elimination-game as they defeated Sacramento City 2-0. Morgan Wheeler showed off her speed with a two-out infield single in the second inning to drive in the game’s first run, and the game-winning run and two innings later Ferreira doubled the lead with a two-out RBI double. Delaney Pamplin pitched the complete-game shutout and allowed just four walks as she picked up her 29th and final win of the season in the circle.

Pamplin, Ferreira and Tawny Deerinck were also honored as selections to the All-State team by the California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association while Shay Trent was an All-Norcal honoree.