King City’s Malaya Carrillo only gave up three hits in the March 17 game against Soledad. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — It hasn’t been the greatest start for King City High School’s softball team, which has lost three games and had rain keeping them from playing others. But last week they were able to get things rolling against their South Monterey County rivals, the Soledad Aztecs.

Last season the Lady Mustangs were Cypress Division league co-champs. Entering this season, they were behind as they lost some key seniors and are having to navigate a season without their best player.

One player that they need to take a major leap this year is junior Malaya Carrillo. Last year she was pitcher for the all-league first team, and in the game against Soledad, she would show why.

To start the March 17 game, Carrillo was on fire as Soledad struggled at the plate. She only gave up three hits all game, with King City winning 14-1.

Last year the Lady Mustangs were a hitting machine. This year, due to injuries, they are looking for someone they could lean on in the middle of the lineup. One of the early candidates is senior Kayla Tankersley, who had three hits and four RBIs.

The Lady Mustangs are currently 1-3 overall, and have three away games this week against Stevenson, Santa Catalina School and Atascadero.


After what is considered a down year for the King City Mustangs’ baseball program, they are off to a 2-0 start in the Cypress Division.

King City for years has been a top baseball team in South County, but last year after getting off to a good start, they fell off in the second half of the season.

After beating Stevenson, who is a strong contender to win Cypress, by 5-3 on March 7, the Mustangs faced off with the North Monterey County Condors on March 16.

North County would take the Mustangs all the way to the end, but King City was able to win the close game 3-2 on Ian Slama’s walk-off single.

The other star of the game was Bryce Blair, who had six strikeouts and pitched the entire game.

In their second matchup of the week, King City played their closest rivals, the Greenfield Bruins, for the second time this year. In their first matchup, the Mustangs lost 14-0.

King City did better in their second game against the Bruins but still came up short, 4-3.

The Mustangs, who are 2-0 in the league and 4-3 overall, are in a good position to have a bounce-back year. They start a two-game series with Everett Alvarez this week.

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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