The Coast Riptide 14-and-under fast-pitch softball team won the gold medal Sunday in the California State Games’ Junior Olympics in San Diego.
The Riptide won gold by defeating Buena Park 10-7, with Cambrians Ani Corbet (pitching), Alyssa Drew (third base), and Meigan Basile (outfield) making significant contributions.
Winning gold was certainly a worthy achievement: The Riptide prevailed at the highest level, in spite of stiff competition from 19 other tournament-tested teams. But just as impressive was the long and exhausting road the Riptide had to travel just to get to San Diego and into the championship round.
They placed second in a Riverside tourney; second at Liberty Ranchos; third in Templeton; and first in Morro Bay. They then took second place in the qualifying tournament (the Central California ASA C Division Association Championship), June 28-29 in Hanford, according to coach Tamara Corbet.
Ani Corbet, who is entering Coast Union as a freshman in the fall, pitched the entire tournament, 31 innings. In six games in San Diego she gave up 12 earned runs, struck out 23 batters (90 during the season) and had nine assists.
At the plate in San Diego, she hit .529 (.475 for the season) and had an on-base percentage of .600.
Drew will also be a freshman at Coast Union in September; she hit .412 in San Diego and had an on-base percentage of .500. At third base, Alyssa had four put-outs and five assists.
The third Cambria player, Basile, who will attend Mission College Prep in the fall, hit .250 (.285 for the season) and “helped our team with her ability to play small ball, with her speed on the bases and with her fielding in the outfield,” according to Tamara Corbet.
Last year, the Riptide came very close to winning gold at the Junior Olympics, but settled for the silver medal.