Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
LANCASTER - Marauder softball coach Cindy Vargas probably explained it best.
"Wow," she said. "You had to be there to believe it."
The Marauder softball team rallied from run deficits in both games, including putting up a nine-spot in the second game after heading into the bottom of the seventh inning trailing by eight runs to stun Citrus College, 14-10 in the first game and 17-16 in the second.
"Oh my gosh," said Vargas. "That's the craziest thing I've ever seen."
The one-run victory in the second game, after trailing by eight runs in its final at bat, was the first time in state history that a team overcame an eight-run deficit to come back and win.
With the two victories, AVC finished its regular season on a 25-game winning streak, as well as entering the playoffs as one of the state's hottest teams. The Marauders also ended the season with a perfect 17-0 record at Marauder Stadium.
"I thought to myself, oh my gosh, we're going to lose. The streak is over," AVC starting pitcher Morgan Arndt said.
The Marauders entered the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 16-8. Tawnee Hegre got things going with a single to center field which scored Arndt. A couple of walks to Paige Johnson and Dolly Stevens and three more hits, including a double by Sara Weiser, helped propel AVC to the thrilling victory.
Stevens hit her 18th home run of the season and seven players had multiple RBI for the Marauders. Johnson added two more RBI to her state-leading 91.
"In all my years of playing an coaching, I have never been involved in such an incredible comeback," Vargas said. "The girls played their hearts out and never gave up. The feeling is undescribable."
AVC is undefeated in the months of March and April heading into the playoffs. Its last loss came against Palomar College on Feb. 24.
In the first game, the Owls led 10-9 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the resilience of the Marauders showed by scoring five runs to take the lead for good.
Johnson hit two home runs and Hegre, Stevens, Elise Moore and Samantha Arriola added one each. The six home runs hit in one single game is a school record and AVC leads the state with 53 hit as a team.
Johnson finished with six RBI and Moore added three more.