Garcia no-hits Marauders; Comets take 1-0 series lead

Garcia no-hits Marauders; Comets take 1-0 series lead




SAN MARCOS (5-04-2018) (5-05-2018) (5-11-2018) -- After picking up her 22nd and 23rd wins of the season in Palomar's back-to-back run-rule victories over Imperial Valley in Round 1 of the CCCAA Southern California Regionals last week, State Pitcher of the Year Alicia Garcia continued to dominate every team she faces on Friday.

That's continuing to dominate, as in Garcia's 5-inning, no-hitter as the Comets (now 37-3) run-ruled visiting Antelope Valley 8-0 in the opening game of a best 2-of-3 Super Regional series.

Garcia blew away the  visiting Marauders, allowing only 2 baserunners, on a lone walk and an error. Along the way, Garcia struck out the side on 10 pitches in the third inning as he ran her season's win-loss record to 24-0. She struck out 6.

Palomar will try to close out the series in two games on noon Sunday and reach next weekend's eight-team CCCAA State Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and Citrus College in Glendora. If a third game turned out to be necessary, it would be played approximately a half-hour after the conclusion of the noon game.

State Player of the Year Sarah Fisher highlighted a 13-hit attack for the Comets by going 3-for-3, slugging a home run, stealing a base and scoring 2 runs. Garcia helped her own cause offensively by going 2-for-3, doubling and scoring 2 runs.

Kylie Pignone (2-for-3, RBI) and McKenna Crawford (2-for-3) also had multiple-hit games. (Picture is of McKenna stealing second base. Antelope Valley's No. 2 is shortstop Alexis Robles. -- Michael Cohn photo

Allie Hughes went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Crystal Moore-DesLauries was 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a steal. Jillian Zamora was 1-for-2, walked and drove in a run. And PCAC All-Sports Women's Athlete of the Week Brynn Miller went 1-for-3, walked and scored 2 runs.

Palomar jumped out to a 5-0 first-inning lead that was highlighted by Hughen's 2-run single, Garcia's double, Moore-DesLauriers' RBI single and singles by Fisher and Crawford.

Fisher led off the bottom of the second with a home run as the Comets extended their lead to 8-0. Pignone and Zamora also each singled to drive in a run, and Garcia, Miller and Crawford added singles as Palomar knocked out 6 hits in the inning. 

Palomar is seeded first in Southern California, has the state's best RPI and is ranked second in the state behind only the No. 1 Northern California seed, College of San Mateo. The Comets are seeking their sixth state championship and theiri third under coach Lacey Craft.

May 4-5 Games

Palomar 9, Imperial Valley 1 (5 innings)

Palomar 11, Imperial Valley 0 (5 innings)

Garcia defeated the Arabs with a complete-game 5-hitter in Friday's first game of the Series on Friday afternoon, striking out 5 and walking one. Fisher went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, a stolen base, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored to pace an 11-hit attack for the Palomar in a game that lasted barely an hour.

Keyona Villanueva tripled and drove in a run. At the plate, Garcia was 1-for-1 with a double and a run scored. Miller went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, 2 RBIs and a run scored. Pignone went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Crawford singled and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Zamora singled to drive in a run, and Hughen stole a base and drove in a run.

The Comets, on top 7-1, put the game away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to invoke the 8-run mercy rule. The winning run scored when Fisher singled with the bases loaded to drive in Crawford, who was aboard on a single.

Palomar 11, Imperial Valley 0

Garcia and Hughen, the state saves leader appearing in a non-save situation, combined to throw the mercy-rule 5-hitter. Garcia scattered 4 hits over the first 4 innings, striking out 3. Hughen came on to pitch the fifth inning striking out one.

Palomar banged out 13 hits against two Imperial Valley pitchers.

Fisher (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored), Villanueva (2-for-3, with a sacrifice fly, 2 RBIs and a run scored) and Pignone (2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and a run scored) contributed multiple-hit performances for the Comets.

Garcia was hit by a pitch, singled, drove in a run and scored a run. Miller singled, drove in a run and scored a run. Jordan Ladner and Jillian Zamora each singled, drove in a run and scored 2 runs. Hughen singled and scored a run. Samantha Smith singled and scored a run. And Samantha Smith and Moore-DesLauriers also singled.