King City was able to break their losing streak after beating Monte Vista Christian, 18-0. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — After dropping back-to-back games to Carmel and San Lorenzo Valley, the King City girls softball team rallied to beat Monte Vista Christian, 18-0.

After playing one game last week, the Lady Mustangs had three games in three days. With a chance to build a resume against teams with better records and more vital divisions, they were aiming to cement themselves as not only Cypress League contenders, but also as Monterey County contenders.

Before the game against Carmel, the Lady Mustangs welcomed back player Victoria Hamilton, who had missed the first 14 games due to an injury. With Hamilton back on the team, King City’s lineup featuring Lisa Villanueva became even stronger.

In Hamilton’s three games back, she went 6 for 9 with three RBIs.

First up for the Mustangs was a second matchup with Carmel. In their first matchup, King City was able to beat them 10-4. The second time around, however, it would be different.

The Lady Mustangs gave up a five-run seventh inning that would give Carmel enough runs to win 10-9.

“Overall, I think our defense is good,” Villanueva said. “I feel we can communicate on defense better.”

In Victoria Hamilton’s three games since rejoining the Lady Mustangs, she went 6 for 9 with three RBIs. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

In their second game, they played San Lorenzo Valley, who was 7-4. Looking at the Lady Mustangs’ resume, it’s hard to identify a win that stands out above the rest, and a win over San Lorenzo would give the team its best win of the year.

Down 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Mustangs would have another five-run inning that tied up the game at 7 apiece. Unfortunately, King City was outscored 5-1 in the final two innings and lost 12-8, dropping their second in a row.

“Both of those games were close games,” said Head Coach Artie Carrillo. “We fell apart in the Carmel game. Opportunities were there, but we just didn’t seize the moment.”

King City’s longest losing streak all season has been two games, and with Cypress conference opponent Monte Vista Christian, it was vital for them to keep their perfect league record as they contend for a title.

“We don’t let the losses faze us,” Carrillo said. “We have two games coming up that are going to be competitive. We should be able to bounce back.”

King City wouldn’t allow Monte Vista Christian any room to breathe as they scored 18 and didn’t give up a run. Leading the way were Sage Flores, who went 4 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs, and Villanueva, who hit her eighth home run of the season.

The Lady Mustangs have the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done since 1991, and that is to win a league title. With Cypress Division starting to pick up, if they can clean up some of the errors haunting them all season, they are the favorite to bring the title back to King City.

The Lady Mustangs headed to Soledad for their next game on April 5.

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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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