Photo by Bruce Jacobsen
SAN MARCOS - The Marauder softball team is only two wins away from the State Championships when it travels to Palomar College to face the Comets in the best 2-of-3 series beginning on Friday afternoon.
"We're going to face two really good pitcher and we're going to have to hit the ball," AVC head coach Cindy Vargas said. "It's going to have to be a low scoring game."
One of those pitchers the Marauders will be facing is Alicia Garcia. Garcia is 23-0 and leads the state among starting pitchers with a microscopic 0.65 ERA. She ranks fourth in the state in wins (23) and ninth in strikeouts (155). Garcia has pitched far less innings than those ahead of her with more strikeouts.
"They're a very good team and we have our work cut out for us," said Vargas. "They are very athletic and very well-coached. We're going to have to be road warriors."
In the regional round, the Marauders defeated Ventura 2-1 in the first game before losing 5-4 in the second. AVC was dominant in the winner-take-all game, 10-0 in five innings which set up a rematch with Palomar.
Earlier this season at Marauder Stadium, the Comets had no trouble defeating AVC 14-0 in the first of two games. In that game, Garcia allowed only two hits while striking out seven.
"We got beat up pretty bad in that game," said Vargas.
However, the Marauders only gave up one run in the second game and lost 1-0.
AVC will have to deal with Palomar's hefty lineup. The Comets are the state-leader in team batting average, hits and runs. They are second in RBI and OBP and third in slugging percentage.
If any team can score runs it's the Marauders. They rank second in the state in home runs, fourth in RBI and fifth in runs scored.