Colusa Area Little League Minor Softball has been full swing these past two weeks. Peyton Miller, Braelyn Santana, Cecelia Mitchum, Aliyah Santana, Kennedy Nall, Marlie Berry, Elizabeth Quintana, Baylee Guizar, Cindel Oliver, Leyla Avera, Maci Garafolo, Mallori Garafolo, and Reyna Sullivan comprised the 13-member team, which was coached by Lisa Miller and Michele Mitchum and team manager, Heather Nall. Last Friday, the team claimed the California Minor League, District II Champion banner.
The tournament, held in Wheatland, started Monday, June 17, against Sutter Buttes. Colusa squeezed by taking a 5-4 win, advancing them to game two, which was held June 19 against Sutter Area.
A 19-1 victory over Sutter Area was the driving force for a third victory over Kelseyville, June 23, with a 20-4 final score.
“This team never quits, they play with heart, determination and are on a mission for a championship,” Nall said. “No matter what you ask of this group, they do it with everything. They have and always give 100 percent. This team is comprised of exactly what their jersey reads: All-Stars.”
Back to the field on June 25, Colusa met up with West Shore and suffered a setback on their championship quest, falling 10-9 for the first loss of the series.
“They were a tough team, but it was a battle until the end. It was tied 9-9 bottom of the sixth, and they hit a walk off,” said Nall.
A 9-3 victory over Olivehurst on June 26 advanced Colusa to the championship game for a rematch against West Shore on Friday. Needing to claim two wins for the banner, Colusa found themselves chasing runs the entirety of the first game. But in the top of the sixth, the chase came to a hault when Guizar hit a single, followed by an in-the-park home run by Peyton Miller. The two runs put Colusa up 6-5.
A final single and RBI by Mitchum gave Colusa their winning run for a 7-5 victory, leaving one last game before claiming the championship.
“We are led by strong pitching performances by Cecelia Mitchum and our catcher, Peyton Miller,” Nall said. “Also excellent defensive efforts by infielders Braelyn Santana, Marlie Berry, and Elizabeth Quintana. Braelyn Santana leads the team in put outs.”
The final game seemingly came easy for Colusa, as they racked up run after run, scoring 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The momentum of the game changed when catcher Peyton Miller hit another in-the-park grand slam for her second homer of the week. Pitcher Cecelia Mitchum kept her composure and got it done for Colusa from the pitcher’s mound, striking out the last two batters before claiming a 24-9 win.
“We have played five games in six days, with the last four games being elimination games,” Nall said. “We beat some good teams in some close ball games. You can’t teach determination; you can’t teach kids to have passion; they just have to have it and these girls do.” ■