Matadors One Win Away from Championship Game
An unexpected run. A pleasant surprise. Exciting times for our girls. These are some of the comments you hear around campus when talking about our softball team.
The Mount Miguel Matadors will be playing for a spot in the Division V CIF championship game as they take on the Knights of Foothills Christian at noon today from the Santee Sports Complex.
The Matadors had a solid season that saw them qualify as the fifth seed. The goal was to qualify for CIF for first year head coach Kevin Darby. This recent run that has them dominating the competition is exceeding everyone's expectations.
"You always want to win. Winning is always the final goal of any season," Darby explained. "The girls have just brought themselves together defensively. We're just on fire with the bats."
The Matadors' regular season schedule included quality opponents from lower divisions. It seems like the tough schedule prepared them well for their playoff run.
"Right now we're facing teams of our level of competition and we're thriving right now. We're peaking at the right time of the season," Darby said.
In the playoffs, the Matadors have outscored their opponents 38-10 in three games.
First baseman Juliette Harris credits the team's confidence for their postseason success.
"We started believing we can make it happen," Harris, a junior, said. "We can make it work with just us."
The Matadors face a tough Foothills Christian ball club who qualified as the two seed.
"All of their team can put the ball in play consistently," Darby said of the Knights. "They're a well coached team. I think we'll match up well against them."
"I expect a good game," Harris said. "Good from them. Good from us. Just a battle."
The winner of today's game will play in the championship game at UCSD on Friday. The loser will play again at 2 p.m. against the winner between Classical Academy and Castle Park for a spot in the championship game. The Matadors defeated Castle Park 9-4 this past Saturday.
The Matadors look relaxed and confident heading into today's showdown. Yet their excitement is apparent. Two victories away from claiming a CIF title will do that to any team.
"It's the greatest. This is every coach's dream, right? To win a CIF title," Darby said with excitement. "We're not there yet but again this is nothing we expected. Myself, my coaches, we're just thrilled. We're loving it. Especially for my seniors. I'm so happy for them to be able to experience something like this before they leave."