Buccaneers sail West to win CIF Div. III softball championship
by DAVE THOMAS
Published - 05/29/19 - 08:02 AM | 10583 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mission Bay High School is the 2018-19 CIF Division III section champion in softball. / Courtesy photo
Mission Bay High School is the 2018-19 CIF Division III section champion in softball. / Courtesy photo
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Hard work and persistence from every Mission Bay softball player paid off this season as the Buccaneers won the CIF Division III softball championship on May 25.

In the title game, Mission Bay rode the bat and arm of junior Cassidy West, which led the Bucs to a 3-2 win over Central Union High at UC San Diego.

Trailing 2-0 in the sixth inning, Mission Bay got the bats going when West got on with a double and was driven home on a two-run homer from Cheyenne Chavez to knot the game at 2-2.

In the eighth inning, West made sure she and her teammates would be section champions, smacking a first-pitch solo home run to give the Bucs the title.

West finished her day with three hits at the plate and struck out eight on the mound.

Mission Bay had advanced to the title game with a 3-1 win over Central on May 23. The Bucs also secured wins over Oceanside and Hilltop, respectively, to work their way to the championship.

“This whole playoff run has been one huge play made by different teammates after another going back to the first playoff game,” said Mission Bay head coach Vince Ichihara.

In that first playoff game, the Bucs, down 3-1 against Oceanside, came back in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 4-3.

“This was a huge accomplishment,” Ichihara said. “This is only the second title in school history, with the first being more than 20 years ago – I believe. Before my staff and I got here, they hadn't had a winning season in more than a decade.

“After this season, we have had three seasons in a row of at 19 wins, three consecutive league championships in three divisions, two CIF finals appearances and one CIF championship,” Ichihara said.

And the framework is in place for another championship run next year and beyond.

“We graduate one senior, Keionna Valverde-Flores, who has been a big part of our team as a hard-working utility player and lead-by-example leader,” Ichihara said. “We have pretty much the entire team returning with a few incoming freshmen that will be helping the program get stronger.

“We have a lot of work to do and this season we peaked at the right time and finished strong. The future of Mission Bay softball is looking very bright and exciting,” Ichihara said.

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