Mt. San Antonio College, the defending CCCAA state champion, opened the 2019 softball season as the pre-season No. 1-ranked team in the coaches association State Top 15. The two-time defending South Coast Conference North Division champion Mounties were joined in the ranking by No. 8 and SCC South two-time defending champ El Camino.
This year, the South Coast Conference division titles will be decided including crossovers that increase the conference schedule from 12 to 22 games.
Mt. SAC is already off to a 4-1 start and 2-0 to top the North side after a walk-off single in the seventh inning by Ally Longtree gave the Mounties an exciting conference victory, 2-1, over El Camino. The Warriors are 3-2 and 1-1.
The leader on the South side is one of the state's hottest teams in Long Beach City College. The Vikings are a perfect 9-0 overall, the best record in the state, and are off to a 3-0 start to lead the SCC South Division. From 1992 thru 2002, LBCC won 11 consecutive one-conference SCC titles. The Vikings haven't won a title since and would love to end their championship slump after 16 seasons.
Pasadena City is 3-3 and 2-1 in the North Division after upending Cerritos, 6-1, on Feb. 12. The Lancers won back-to-back SCC crowns in 1990 and 1991 and also have not won a title since those years.
Long Beach is hitting a conference-best .344, now 20th in the state while Mt. SAC has the state's top ERA (0.85) of teams that have played at least 5 games.
Individually, LBCC's Yazmin Zendejas is second in the state in RBI with 17 while Vikings starting pitcher Joette Vega is tied for second in the state in circle victories with five. PCC's Olivia Nanez has a .636 batting average that tops all conference hitters in the early going.