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Cypress Softball Program Earns 10th State Title

Cypress Softball Program Earns 10th State Title

WALNUT, CA - Charger softball (44-7) defeated the No. 1 ranked Palomar Comets to take the 3C2A Softball State Championship.   

For the conclusion of the 2023 softball season, the Chargers traveled to Mt. San Antonio College for the 3C2A State Tournament where the final eight teams in California competed for the State Title. There, Cypress played in eight games and came out as State Champions.The Orange Empire Conference champions dropped the first game of the tournament to the San Mateo Bulldogs.The scoreless opener put the Chargers in the consolation bracket where a second loss would eliminate the team. On the second day, Cypress responded with an explosion of offense. Against Folsom Lake, the Chargers won in mercy fashion, 10-1. Later in the day, Cypress held off a late game comeback from Mt. SAC to stay alive. In a rematch, the team met San Mateo for an elimination game. A second mercy win in the tournament sent the team to the semi-final round. To earn a ticket to championship day, the Chargers had to get past Cerritos College. Cypress held the Falcons to one run and won the battle which advanced the team to the State Tournament Finals. From their tournament efforts, five Chargers were named to the All-Tournament Team. Mikala Jacobsen was given Wild Card honors, Ashlynn Ortiz earned first baseman with Camryn Addimando and Jaylene Durate awarded infielder awards. Emily Rush, who was named MVP of the Orange Empire Conference, was also named MVP of the 3C2A Championship Tournament. The successful championship run was the program's tenth title with Head Coach Brad Pickler at the helm for all ten. 


On championship Sunday, the Chargers faced the number one ranked team in the entire state of California. As both teams entered the fourth and final day of the tournament, the Palomar Comets were undefeated. The two met in April for a double header where the Comets got the best of the Chargers in both matchups. Palomar hosted Cypress and won by mercy in the first game and then defeated the visiting Chargers 2-5 in the second game. Cypress would have to defeat the Comets twice in one day to be named State Champions. In the third with two out and two strikes, the MVP of the OEC stepped into the box. Rush got a hold of a fastball and launched it to dead center. The ball went over the fence and onto the hill as the Chargers took the one run lead. In the fourth, a costly error from the Cypress defense changed the game. A bloop single down the third base line scored two runs for Palomar and flipped the score, 1-2. Down to their final three outs, Cypress managed to get their first two batters on. After perfectly executed small ball, Camryn Addimando scored on a passed ball to tie the game. The throw to home got away which allowed Jacobsen to score from second. With the one run lead, the Chargers defense held off the Comets and completed the last inning comeback win. Rush carried the team in the first game as she was responsible for the only RBI for the Chargers. She went 1-3 with a huge home run as she also pitched a complete game with three strikeouts. Jacobsen's and Addimando's quick thinking and hustle brought home the tying and winning run to force the final game of the tournament. The two scored on a passed ball and error throw which pushed the tournament to its final game. 

The low scoring finale brought more strategic decision making from both dugouts. In the third inning, the Comets elected to intentionally walk the MVP, Rush. Cypress made them pay for that decision as Kaitlin Reynolds smacked an RBI single up the middle for the game's first run and only run. Though Palomar threatened throughout the game, the team kept the Comets bats scoreless.The Chargers held off a comeback in the seventh from the number one ranked team and won the 2023 3C2A State Tournament. Rush pitched a second complete game on the day and went 1-2 with an intentional walk. Reynolds had the championship game winning RBI single in the third. Behind the circle, the Cypress defense played excellent with their double plays, chased down fly balls and prevented key runners from advancing. The No. 4 Chargers had crawled all the way back through the day one consolation bracket placement to be named State Champions. 

Cypress's season grind amounted to 51 hard fought games that date back to the start of February. The team finished with a 44-7 record and a 19-2 conference record with only one loss at home. With only three sophomores, the team saw major production from their freshmen players. Reynolds and Duarte finished second and third in the OEC RBI stat leaders with 43 and 42. Center fielder Cameron Curiel stole 16 bags which placed her second in the conference. The team as a whole also was atop of almost every offensive stat for the OEC. Cypress led the conference in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and batting average. For their individual efforts, six players were named to the All-OEC team with the coaches also named Staff of the Year. Rush, Durate and Reynolds were named to the first team while Addimando, Lizbeth Gomez and Jacobsen were named to the second team. Rush shook Cypress softball program record books. The end of the year 3C2A awards named Durate and Rush All-State for the southern region with Reynolds also being named All-Southern. In her OEC MVP season, her dual threat presence in the batter's box and pitching circle helped the Chargers win their tenth state title. Her heroic pitching and offensive performance earned her MVP at the 3C2A State Tournament.




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