Marauders fall in regional opener

Monache’s Aaliyah Mosqueda fields the ball against St. Joseph in the Division II Central Section Championship game.(Kason Clark)

Monache softball suffers 3-2 loss to Bakersfield Christian in first round of the Division III CIF SoCal Championships; Marauders finish season with overall record of 18-15

BAKERSFIELD – After stumbling in the Division II Central Section Championships the previous weekend, Monache softball looked to get back on track in the first round of the Division III CIF SoCal Championships. But on the road this past Tuesday, the Marauders faced a formidable test in the Bakersfield Christian Eagles.

After struggling to get their bats going in the Central Valley title game, the Marauders had another slow start offensively as they fell behind early on May 28. Monache eventually found some offense, but ultimately fell, 3-2, to Bakersfield Christian to end the season.

“We struggled with hitting for a little bit there. We started coming alive in the seventh, but I think it just took too long for us to make the adjustments that we needed,” Monache head coach Briana Bamber said. “It was a good defensive game but Bakersfield Christian did what they had to do to score and we waited a little bit too long to score runs.”

The Marauders close their season with an overall record of 18-15. While it was a disappointing end, the Marauders had a strong season where they finished tied for second in the East Yosemite League and finished second in the Division II Central Section Championships. With a young program this season, Bamber was impressed with how they grew throughout the year to go on a run.

“The girls did great. We are still quite a young team for the most part and the girls are just kind of getting their feet wet into the postseason,” Bamber said. “One thing that we were focusing on this year was hitting and we adjusted to that pretty quickly.”

But the Marauders had trouble hitting the ball in their final game of the season. The Eagles took advantage of Monache’s slow start with a couple runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead.

After 11 straight scoreless innings going back to the start of the Central Valley championship, the Marauders finally broke through in the top of the fifth. With a runner on third base, Shy-Lee Teran drove her in for the score with a single to right field.

The Eagles responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 3-1 lead, but the Marauders did not give up. In the top of the seventh, Ahtziri Barrios singled to left to drive in a run to make it a 3-2 deficit. But Monache could not keep the bats rolling as the Eagles got the final out to end the Marauders’ season.

While the Marauders lose several players to graduation, they will also return several impact players from this year’s squad. So as they prepare for next spring, Bamber believes the Marauders will still have the players – and now the appetite – to contend once again.

“These girls are competitors. They don’t want to give up, they don’t give up easily and I think this year is going to make them hungry for more,” Bamber said. “That will be a good driving force for us next season. Just finding that rhythm and coming together as a team early on.

“I think that unifies us to drive and make it further than we did this year. We did great this year but I think we have the potential to go even further.”

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