Scene set for 2017 softball state championship in Bakersfield

Cypress College softball
Cypress College softball

Tournament Central (live video, recaps, photos, etc.)

By Andrew Wheeler
Citrus College Sports Information Coordinator

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The scene is set for the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association State Softball Championships this Friday-Sunday. The top two seeds from each region are the final four teams left standings after two competitive rounds of regional playoffs. The weekend will open up on Friday night at 5:30 PM, with North #1 College of San Mateo taking on South #2 Mt. San Antonio College. The second game of the weekend will see South #1 Cypress College play North #2 San Joaquin Delta College at approximately 8:00 PM. 

ABOUT THE TEAMS

South #1 | Cypress College (45-0) | Orange Empire Conference Champions
Cypress College is making their 26th appearance in the CCCAA State Championships in 2017, and are home to eight CCCAA titles. Both marks are tops in CCCAA Softball history. The Chargers were in the State Championships last year, finishing in fourth place. The Chargers got to the 2017 State Championships after defeating a tough and talented Allan Hancock College team 5-2 and 9-8 in the regional round. In the super regionals, Cypress knocked off College of the Canyons, and Palomar College twice to advance to this weekend.

The Chargers are just the third program in CCCAA history to head into the State Championships as undefeated. The other two schools to do so, are here this weekend. San Joaquin Delta College headed into the State Championships undefeated in 2011 and College of San Mateo did the same back in 2015. Both of those teams finished as the runner-up. 

Cypress is home to CCCAA State Pitcher of the Year in freshman Destiny Vasquez. Vasquez enters the weekend 26-0 in the circle with a 1.29 ERA, and 135 strikeouts to her name. Her WHIP on the season is a miniscule 0.96, and opposing batters are hitting just .207 off of her this season.  Vasquez was also proficient with a bat this season, hitting .352 with a team leading 48 RBIs, and a team best seven home runs. The Chargers also boast three All-State selections in freshman short stop Sydney McCollum (.428 | 47 RBIs), sophomore center fielder Melanie Okazaki (.458 | 63 runs), and sophomore pitcher Vanessa Ledesma (16-0 | 1.85 ERA). 

North #1 | College of San Mateo (36-6) | Coast Conference North Division Runner-Up
College of San Mateo should feel right at home this weekend at the Dean and Ada Gay Sports Complex. The Bulldogs are making their fifth straight appearance in the CCCAA State Softball Championships and their 12th overall. Their five straight trips to Bakersfield, is the longest current active streak in the state. Despite their constant presence in the last four, the Bulldogs are still searching for their first ever state softball title. In 2015, San Mateo finished as the runner-up, and last year the Bulldogs were third when the dust settled on the weekend.

San Mateo heads into this stretch of the season, with the most dominate performances of the post-season thus far with mercy rule wins in four of their five games. The Bulldogs defeated Yuba College twice in the opening round, before defeating up and coming Taft College and always strong Sierra College in their first two games of their home hosted super regional. San Mateo than put the icing on the super regionals by beating Foothill College 4-1 for their berth in the state championships, exacting some revenge on an Owl squad that had previously prevented the Bulldogs from winning their sixth straight conference crown.

CSM freshman right fielder Gaby Zuchiatii was named the State Player of the Year after hitting .556 (5th in the CCCAA), with 59 RBIs (7th in the CCCAA). Zuchiatti had 29 extra base hits, hitting 16 doubles and 10 home runs. She swiped eight bags, and posted an impressive .947 slugging percentage. Freshman catcher Allie Stines (.459 | 53 runs) and sophomore short stop Meagan Wells (.496 | 38 RBI | 19 SB) were named All-State selections.

South #2 | Mt. San Antonio College (40-3) | South Coast Conference North Division Champions
Mt. San Antonio College is making its first appearance back in the CCCAA State Championships since its runner-up finish in 2014. The Mounties have had a fantastic 2017, with just three losses to their name, and are looking to take home their fifth overall stat title, and their first since the 2009 season. 

The Mounties made their way to Bakersfield after an unblemished record through the first two rounds. Mt. SAC took down Ventura College in the regional finals, before beating Cerritos College, El Camino College, and Antelope Valley College in the super regionals. In the super regional final, the Mounties trailed Antelope Valley 4-2 midway through the game, but Mt. SAC closed the contest with six unanswered on their way to their 12th overall state championship appearance.

Mt. SAC had two players named to the 3CFCA All-State team and four to the 3CFCA All-SoCal squad. They are paced by All-State selection and sophomore pitcher Tiffany Kennedy-Cummings. Kennedy-Cummings led the entire state in ERA with a 0.99 ERA. She finished 16-1 with three saves, and was third in the state with a 7.97 K's per seven innings average.  Sophomore catcher Taylor Jaurique was also an All-State selection, posting a .470 batting average, driving in 48 RBIs, and hitting 12 home runs.

North #2 | San Joaquin Delta College (39-6) | Big 8 Conference Champions
San Joaquin Delta College returns to the CCCAA State Championships for the first time since 2011, when it entered as the #1 seed from the North and undefeated. The Mustangs are making their 13th overall appearance in the CCCAA State Softball Championships which is the third most all-time by a Northern California school (Sacramento City College is #1 with 23, while West Valley College is #2 with 16). Delta has finished as the runner-up on three different occasions, but is still looking for its first ever state title.

The Mustangs opened up the post-season with a pair of wins over San Jose City College. In the super regionals, San Joaquin Delta got past Diablo Valley College and Cosumnes River College before dropping the first game of the final day to Ohlone College 4-1. Undeterred Delta rallied with a 6-2 win over the Renegades to get back to Bakersfield College for the first time in six years.

Delta boasts the most All-State selections of any team in the State with four All-State players. Freshman short stop Kaylee Buhrkuhl hit .392 with a team leading 51 RBIs. Sophomore pitcher Peyton Rose meanwhile led the CCCAA in wins with 34, and posted a 2.22 ERA and 110 strikeouts. Sophomore second baseman Haylee Nunes led the team with a .497 average and 12 stolen bases, while sophomore third baseman Vanessa Contreras hit .404 with 47 runs batted in. 

BY THE NUMBERS

.556 - Batting average by CSM's Zuchiatti, the highest of any player in this weekend's tournament.

59 - RBIs by Zuchiatti, the most of any player this weekend. 

65 - Runs scored by CSM's Wells, the most of any one this weekend, and the second most in the State this year.

35 - Stolen bases by Mt. SAC's Kayla Sok, the most by any player in the state championships this weekend, and the fifth highest total in the CCCAA this year.

1 - Amount of times, Sok has been caught stealing this year, which is the fewest amount of any player in the State Top 5. 

4 - Times in the last six years that a #2 seed has won the CCCAA State Title. 

30 - Extra base hits by CSM's Stines, which is the most of any player this weekend. 

.407 - Team batting average of CSM heading into this weekend, the second highest in the CCCAA. Mt. SAC was #3 with a .405 average. 

.614 - Team slugging percentage by Mt. SAC which is the second highest in the CCCAA this year. CSM is #3 at .606. 

158 - Walks drawn by Cypress as a team this year. It was the fourth most in the State, and the most of any team this weekend. 

.971 - Fielding percentage by CSM this year, the highest in the entire State. 

10 - Runners caught stealing by SJDC's Chace Bailey, which was the sixth most in the CCCAA this season, and the most of any catcher this weekend. 


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