King City Mustangs softball players celebrate after beating Carmel, 12-11, on May 11. (Ivan Garcia)

KING CITY — After suffering a knee injury last fall, the status of King City High all-league softball player Lisa Villanueva and how she would be when she returned have been answered — as she has dominated since bouncing back.

With their season on the line against the Carmel Padres, the Lady Mustangs needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Mustangs were coming off a three-game streak of scoring 10 or more runs for the first time this season.

In this game, the Padres and Mustangs went back and forth, scoring runs. The good news is that Villanueva had her swing going. She went deep twice as King City beat the Padres 12-11.

With the win, the Lady Mustangs would play in a play-in game to determine who would earn a spot in the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs.

In the play-in game, King City played against a team they lost to in the season opener, the North Salinas Vikings. This time, however, the Lady Mustangs had their star, Villanueva, who went 3-4 with two RBIs.

For the third year in a row, the Lady Mustangs are going to the playoffs after beating North Salinas 5-4. Since Villanueva’s return, she has had two home runs and six doubles.

The Lady Mustangs will be competing in the first round of CCS Division V playoffs this Saturday, May 20, at Leland High School at 12 p.m.

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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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