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October 1, 2022

Softball | King City Mustangs crush Alisal and Pacific Grove to stay atop division

KING CITY — In the middle of a season, it’s unexpected to see a team with 15 days off between games, but the King City Mustangs softball team didn’t have any rust at all as they outscored Alisal and Pacific Grove, 25-6, to stay atop the Cypress Division. 

Alisal and King City had to postpone their second meeting, causing the Lady Mustangs to have more than two weeks off in between games. Because their schedules worked out, King City had to face Alisal and Pacific Grove in back-to-back games.

“It was weird,” said King City’s center fielder Victoria Hamilton. “I didn’t like it because we went from two games a week to pure practices. However, I believe that those practices were what we needed to reset after our loss against Gonzales.” 

The last time the Lady Mustangs played was on April 11, when they lost their first league game to Gonzales. With more than two weeks off, the timing of Lady Mustangs’ batters might be off, but they derailed that theory real quick, scoring 25 runs in two games.

In the first game on April 27, the Lady Mustangs beat Alisal 11-2, and like usual, slugger Lisa Villanueva led the way with her county-leading 10th homerun. But it was King City’s Liz Hernandez who had a season-high four RBIs, going 2-3.

In their final five games, the Lady Mustangs will face Pacific Grove twice. Coming into the April 28 game, Pacific Grove shared the top spot in the Cypress Division with King City with a 6-1 record. The game’s stakes were simple: The winner takes a solo position of first place. 

“We all knew how crucial beating PG was,” Hamilton said. “But we didn’t want to put all that pressure on ourselves. We do play better with pressure, but also when we have fun, and that’s exactly what we did.”

In the first three innings, King City applied the pressure, outscoring Pacific Grove 8-2. The Lady Mustangs delivered the final blow in the fifth when they scored five runs to end the game, 14-4. 

“We worked just as hard to perfect our defense and prepare for faster pitching, and it paid off when we beat Alisal and PG earlier this week,” Hamilton said. 

Hamilton and teammate Malaya Carrillo had a combined 5 for 6 with five RBIs in their win over Pacific Grove.

After the loss to Gonzales, the King City girls had to reflect and try to improve as the postseason approaches. With four games left, the Lady Mustangs are in total control of the outcome of the Cypress Division.

“We were pretty mad and disheartened because we know we can play better and we know we are a better team,” Hamilton said. “We just didn’t show up and show out that day and they did. Only thing we can do now is win out and prove that that loss was only a blemish.” 

King City will travel to Monte Vista Christian on Tuesday, and then host Soledad on Thursday before competing at Pacific Grove on Friday.

Jason Gallardo
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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