For the first time in over 20 years, Porterville College has qualified for the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Northern California Regional Playoffs. On Saturday, the Pirates were named the No. 14 seed for the postseason tournament and will travel to face No. 3 San Joaquin Delta College in a three-game playoff series that is set to begin on Friday, May 3.
It has been a historic season for Porterville and long-time head coach Vickie Dugan. The Pirates are surging into the playoffs after closing the regular season with a 24-14 overall while finishing in fourth place in the highly-competitive Central Valley Conference at 12-9. PC was one of four CVC teams (Sequoias, Fresno City, Reedley) to reach the postseason.
The Pirates slugged their way to a winning record, outscoring their opponents by a 239-160 margin. PC's 32 homeruns are tied for third-most in the state this season.
Leading the way is freshman first baseman Kuea Angilau. The first-team All-Central Valley Conference selection has smashed 13 home runs while hitting .462 (48-for-104) with a .942 slugging percentage. Her 46 RBI and 32 runs also led the Pirates.
Filling the void offensively for injured All-American Chelsea Ramos this season has been freshman third baseman Annisa Gomez. She enters the postseason with a .405 batting average with 7 home runs and 43 RBI. Gomez has totaled 45 hits, including 11 doubles.
In the circle for the Pirates, sophomores Alexis Rodriguez and Ashley Eyraud have split duties. In 20 starts, Rodriguez is 12-7 this season with a 3.02 ERA. She has pitched 139 innings so far and has tossed 16 complete games. Eyraud started 22 games and went 10-7 with a 3.37 ERA. She's thrown 108 innings and has went the distance in 10 contests.
San Joaquin Delta was co-champions of the Big 8 Conference with a 19-2 record and enters the postseason with an impressive 32-5 overall mark. The Mustangs have won six straight games, including eight of their last 10. Knocking off Delta in Stockton will be a tall order for the Pirates as the Mustangs are 14-2 at home this season.
Delta has outscored its opponents 264-70 this season. Their offense is led by freshman Mikaela Ferreira. She's hitting .544 on the year with 11 home runs and 44 RBI. Even more impressive is that Ferreira has yet to strike out this season in 153 plate appearances.
Sophomore Delaney Pamplin has handled the majority of innings in the circle for the Mustangs. In 23 starts, she's compiled a 23-4 record and a 1.20 ERA. She's pitched 186 innings with 21 complete games. Freshman Jenna Nauta has also had success, going 9-0 with a 2.33 ERA over 11 starts.
The winner of the best two-out-of-three series advances to Round 2 of the Northern California Regional Playoffs on May 10. Teams are battling for a spot in the CCCAA State Championship, set for May 16-19 in Bakersfield.