Pleasant Grove’s softball team handed Vacaville its first loss of the season Wednesday in a 3-2 thriller. The problem, though, for the Eagles was that that would end up being the only game the 29-1-1 Bulldogs would lose in 2014.
In the second and final game in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I championship double-elimination tournament Vacaville’s sophomore pitcher Katie Kibby came through with her third shutout of the post-season to lead her squad to a 3-0 victory and the softball championship banner.
It was the first championship for Vacaville softball since 2005 and the school’s fourth such title.
Celina Matthias, pitching in her fifth and sixth game in three days, helped her own cause with a key solo home run in the first game Wednesday. It tied the game at two apiece in the fourth inning.
The Eagles tacked on another run later in the same inning and that lead would hold for Pleasant Grove and force a second and deciding game.
Vacaville got solo homers from Maddie Rojas and Julia DePonte for the only runs Kibby needed. DePonte, a senior on her way to Washington next season, was the team batting leader this season, hitting .548.
Twice, in the first and again in the fifth inning, Pleasant Grove got two runners on base, but Kibby worked out of those situations.
With the loss, the Eagles finished second in the Division I playoffs for the second year in a row. Last year Pleasant Grove lost to another one-loss team, Vintage. The Eagles were the only team to beat the Crushers last year.
Pleasant Grove will graduate several key contributors to the squads of the past two years including Matthias, catcher Vanessa Washington and outfielder Marissa Maligad. Washington will attend Delaware State next season while both Matthias and Maligad will play at Sacramento State.