ABOVE: Palomar's 2013 California State Champion softball team, shown in a picture from April 24. -- File Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT:Mercedes Montanez, who went 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. BELOW RIGHT: Comets after the game. -- Courtesy Photo by Nick Ellis for the California Community College Athletic Association
Comets declaw Tigers, win fourth state title
BAKERSFIELD (5-19-2013) (REVISED 5-20-2013) --Mercedes Montanez went 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI on Sunday afternoon, giving Palomar a 7-2 win over Riverside City College for its fourth CCCAA State Softball Championship.
Earlier, coach Lacey Craft's Comets had defeated College of San Mateo 5-4 on Friday night and Shasta 4-3 on Saturday to capture the winners' bracket of the double-elimination tournament. RCC, battling out of the losers bracket after an opening-round loss to Shasta, handed Palomar an 8-2 loss earlier Sunday to force an "if necessary" game.
In the final game, Palomar jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning.
Megan Bartee led off the game by singling to right field. Maren Lebsock reached base on a sacrifice fielder's choice, putting runners at first and second with none out.
With one out, Brenna Parker was safe at first on a fielder's choice, with Lebsok being forced at second and Bartee advancing to third.
Paige Falconieri reached on an error by RCC's right fielder. Parker advanced to third and Bartee came home to put the Comets up 1-0. Montanez singled to drive in Parker, making it 2-0.
Palomar then added two runs in the second inning one in the fourth and two in the fifth to open a 7-0 lead on the Tigers, the top seed out of Southern California and the Orange Empire Conference champions.
That's the way it remained until Riverside scored its only two runs in the bottom of the seventh on Olivia Fimbress' two-run home run to left field.
Winning pitcher Parker, who took a two-hit shutout into the seventh, allowed four hits in the inning but worked her way out of a late jam to leave two Riverside runners stranded and give the Comets (33-14) their first state title since 2000.
Carlie Daniel and Jasmine Vogel each had a single and an RBI for the Comets. Kristin George drove in two runs.
Palomar and Riverside were tied 0-0 throuigh the first four innings of Sunday's first game. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the fifth and went on to win the game.
Parker hit a solo home run for the Comets. Bartee went 2-for-3 with a steal and George had the other hit.
Lebsock, the second baseman, fielded a groundball and threw out Riverside's Courtney Brown at first for the final out of the championship game and the tournament.
Palomar won its first two state championships in 1989 and 1993. Mark Eldridge, now retired as head coach but currently Craft's No. 1 assistant, coached the Comets to their previous three state titles. He was inducted into the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December.
Lacey Craft thus becomes the first head coach other than Eldridge to guide a Palomar team to the state championship.
Craft and Palomar assistant coach Ginalee Davis both played for the Comets for Eldridge on teams that advanced to the State Tournament. Craft went on to become the starting third baseman at San Diego State University. Davis went on to become a first-team NAIA All-American shortstop at Lubbock Christian University. She helped lead Lubbock Christian to the 2008 NAIA National Championship in Decatur, AL.
Eldridge played three sports at Palomar and played safety for the Washington State University football team.
Craft’s other assistant coach is Carl Grubb, a former volunteer hitting coach at the University of Georgia.
The Tigers finished the season 45-6.
SOFTBALL: State Tournament Awards
Daniel MVP and Parker Most Valuable Pitcher
BAKERSFIELD (5-19-2013) --Palomar's newly-crowned State champions took home three individual awards from the state tournament.
Carlie Daniel (left) was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
Brenna Parker (right) was named Most Valuable Pitcher.
And shortstop Megan Bartee received the Golden Glove Award.
The only individual award that eluded the Comets went to Natalie Barrios, Riverside's leadoff batter, who was named Outstanding Hitter.
Daniel is a freshman pitcher / utility player out of San Marcos High School. Parker is a sophomore pitcher / utility player from Vista High School. Bartee is a freshman shortstop from Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore.
The Comets were represented by six players on the all-tournament team. Joining Daniel, Parker and Bartee as all-tourney selections were Mercedes Montanez (sophomore catcher, Rancho Buena Vista High School), Jacyln Meester (sophomore first baseman, Rancho Buena Vista High School) and Jasmine Vogel (sophomore outfielder, El Camino High School).
Other members of the Palomar state championship team are Ashley Wisma (freshman outfielder, Escondido High School), Maren Lebsock (freshman infielder, San Pasqual High School), Kaylee Hughen (freshman outfielder, Rancho Buena Vista High School), Kristin George (freshman utility player, Fallbrook High School), Emily Metz (freshman infielder, Del Norte High School), Ana Tavarez (sophomore catcher, El Camino High School), Haylee Williams (sophomore outfielder, Carlsbad High School), Paige Falconieri (freshman utility player, Escondido High School), Lizzy Hutzler (freshman outfielder, Fallbrook High School), Susie Meza (sophomore utility player, El Camino High School) and red-shirts Amanda Cochran (utility player, Vista Murrieta High School) and Caitlin Washburn (pitcher, Julian Charter High School).Montanez, Bartee are named Athletes of Week
SAN DIEGO (5-22-2013) --Mercedes Montanez (left) and Megan Bartee (right), who played key roles as Palomar won the CCCAA State softball tournament, are the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's final Women's Athletes of the Week for the 2012-13 academic year.
Montanez, the Comets' sophomore catcher from Rancho Buena Vista High School, went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a walk on Sunday as Palomar defeated Riverside City College 7-2 in the State Championship game at Bakersfield. She'd gone 2-for-4 in a 4-2 victory over Shasta on the previous day.
Bartee, a freshman shortstop fromLakeside High in Lake Elsinore, received the Golden Glove award as the outsranding defensive player in the state tournament. She went 2-for-3 in the state championship game win vs. RCC and aloso went 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 5-4 win over College of San Mateo to open Final Four Weekend..
Bartee's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted the Comets to the win over San Mateo.
Comets do it again, are 1 win from 4th state titleBAKERSFIELD (5-18-2013) -- Brenna Parker (left) went 3-for-3 and notched the pitching win on Saturday afternoon as Palomar moved to within one win of its fourth state softball championship.
Paige Falconieri drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the seventh inning to give coach Lacey Craft's Comets (32-13) a 4-3 victory over Shasta (40-8) in the winners' bracket finals at the CCCAA Final Four at Bakersfield College's Dean & Adah Gay Sports Complex.
Palomar will sit back and await the survivor of the losers bracket, either Shasta, Riverside City College or College of San Mateo, in the championship game at noon on Sunday. If the Comets win, the tournament is over. Palomar would have to lose twice for one of those teams to win the state title.
Palomar will be attempting to win its first state championship since 2000, when the Comets defeated Long Beach City College 1-0 in the title game at Fresno. PC's first two state titles came in 1989 and 1993.
Palomar scored single runs in the second and third innings and was ahead of Shasta 2-0 going into the bottom of sixth, when the Knights pushed across three runs to lead 3-2.
The Comets answered right back to tally the tying and winning runs in the top of the seventh before Parker retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
Megan Bartee drew a walk to begin the top half of the seventh. With one out, Shasta's pitcher threw the ball away on a fielder's choice, and Parker followed with a double to left center for her third hit of the afternoon to tie the gqme.
Falconieri's sac fly scored Carlie Daniel, on base on a fielder's choice, for what turned out to be the winning run.
Parker's 3-for-3 day at the plate featured two doubles, three RBIs and a walk. She pitched a five-hitter in going in throwing her complete game.
Mercedes Montanez and Daniel each went 2-for-4 as the Comertsd banged out eight hits off two Shasta pitchers. Jaclyn Meester was 1-for-2.
The Knights, the No. 2 seed from Northern California, had won 20 of their previous 21 games.
The winner of Saturday's 5:30 p.m. game between Riverside and San Mateo was scheduled to face Shasta at 8 p.m. to determine Palomar's Sunday opponent. RCC led San Mateo 1-0 after the first two innings in the 5:30 game.
Bartee's sac fly gives PC upset over No. 1 teamBAKERSFIELD (5-17-2013) -- Megan Bartee (left) drove home Jasmine Fogel with a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the eighth inning Friday evening, giving Palomar a 5-4 upset of state No. 1-ranked College of San Mateo to begin the CCCAA State Championship Final Four.
Bartee had doubled with none out and moved up to third on Kristin George's fielder's choice.
With the victory at Bakersfield College's Dean & Adah Gay Sports Comlex, the Comets ran their record to 31-13 and will play the winner of the late game between Riverside City College and Shasta in the winners' bracket on Saturday at 3 p.m. RCC took an early 1-0 lead in that game, which began after the 8 p.m. scheduled starting time. The San Mateo Bulldogs (41-5) will play the loser of Friday's second game in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m.
The Final Four runs through Sunday, with Palomar attempting to win its first state championship since the Comets defeated Long Beach City College 1-0 in the 2000 finals at Fresno.
College of San Mateo jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead. Palomar came back to go in front 3-2 when Paige Falconieri hit a three-run home run over the left-center field fence in the top of the sixth.
The Bulldogs regained the lead 4-3 in the bottom of the inning, but the Comets sent the game into extra innings on back-to-back-to-back singles by Bartee, Maren Lebsock and Carlie Daniel in the seventh. Daniel's hit drove Bartee and tied the game at 4-4.
Bartee, Daniel, Vogel and Jacelyn Meester each went 2-for-4 to pace an 11-hit attack for coach Lacey Craft's squad.
Lebsock, playing second base, made a spectacular diving catch for the final out of the game with runners at second and third and two outs in the San Mateo half of the eighth inning.
Brenna Parker threw a complete game to pick up the victory.
Comets top Mt. SAC 4-1, move on to Final Four
WALNUT (5-12-2013) -- Palomar rode the five-hit pitching of Brenna Parker (left) to a 4-1 victory over host Mt. SAC in the second game on Sunday, winning the Walnut Super Regional and advanding to the CCCAA State Championship Final Four.
Coach Lacey Craft's Comets (30-13) will play College of San Mateo (41-4), the state's top-ranked team and winner of one of two Northern California Super Regionals, on Friday at 5:30 p.m. to begin the three-day tournament at the Dean & Adah Gay Sports Complex at Bakersfield College.
The other two teams in the Final Four are Riverside City College (42-4), the winner of the Riverside Super Regional, and Shasta (39-7), which won the other Northern California Super Regional.
The Mounties, battling out of the losers bracket, forced an extra game by downing the Comets 11-6 earlier Sunday.
Carlie Daniel (right) pounded out 10 hits, including four home runs, in four games as Palomar went 3-1 for the weekend. Parker knocked out nine hits and also homered four times. The Comets homered nine times, including three round-trippers in a 15-8 win over College of the Desert in the winners bracket finals on Saturday (see right column).
The Comets jumped on Mt. SAC for three runs in the first inning in Sunday's deciding game. Mercedes Montanez went 2-for-3 with a home run for the final PC run in the bottom of the sixth.
Palomar scored its three first-inning runs after Megan Bartee led off the inning by drawing a walk.
Maren Lebsock moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Daniel then singled and Parker doubled to drive in both Bartee and Daniel. Paige Falconieri doubled in Parker to make it 3-0.
Bartee, Lebsock, Jasmine Vogel and Kristin George singled to round out the Comets' nine-hit attack.
Mt. SAC 11, Palomar 6 -- The Mounties handed the Comets their only loss of the weekend earlier Sunday to force the deciding game.
Parker went 3-for-3 in the loss with a home run, an intentional walk and two RBIs. Daniel was 2-for-4 and homered. Bartee went 2-for-3, walked and scored two runs, and Meester was 2-for-4.
Palomar outhit Mt. SAC 12-11, but six of the Mounties hits were home runs.
PC opens Super Regional by blasting Mesa, COD
WALNUT (5-10-2013 / 5-11-2013) --Palomar settled an old debt by pounding out a 9-6 win over San Diego Mesa to open play in the Walnut Super Regional softball tournament on Friday night, then came back to club College of the Desert 15-8 in the winners' bracket finals on Saturday.
Carly Daniel (left) led the way vs. Mesa, the other Pacific Coast Athletic Conference co-champion, by going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs.
Palomar, which has 31 conference championships compared with Mesa's two titles, won the season series between the two rivals 3 games to 1,
Jackie Meester (right) went 2-for-4 vs.the Olympians with a home run and three RBIs. Jasmine Vogel went 2-for-4 with a home run. Brenna Parker, the winning pitcher, was 2-for-3.
Parker and Daniel dombined for seven hits and five home runs in the rout of COD.
Daniel was 4-for-5 vs. the Roadrunners with two homers, two doubles and four RBIs, while Parker went 3-for-4 with three homers, a walk and five RBIs.
Maren Lebsock went 3-for-5 and drove in a run, and Paige Falconieri was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
ABOVE: Palomar pitcher Brenna Parker tags out Moorpark's Amanda Chatman at the plate in the first inning of Sunday's third and deciding Regional game. Chatman tried to come home from third on an apparent wild pitch, but catcher Mercedes Montanez fielded the ball and threw to Parker for the out. BELOW: Paige Falconieri hits Palomar's first of four home runs for the day in the second inning of Sunday's first game, setting the tone for the Comets' 3-1 victory. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
Parker's walk-off HR puts PC in Super Regionals
SAN MARCOS (5-5-2013 / REVISED 5-6-2012) --Palomar came back from a loss on Saturday to sweep visiting Moorpark 3-1 and 12-2 on Sunday to win the teams' first-round Southern Cal Regional series 2 games to 1.
The run-rule second-game win and series victory send the Comets into the three-day, four-team Walnut Super Regional at Mt. San Antonio College. Palomar (27-11) will open the three-day, double-elimination event against PCAC rival San Diego Mesa on Friday at 8 p.m..
The host Mounties play College of the Desert at 5:30 p.m. The Comets will play again Saturday morning against either the winner of that game in the winners' bracket or the loser in an elimination game.
The Comets slammed four home runs to dispose of the Raiders in Sunday's two games. Paige Falconieri's lead-off solo homer in the second inning got the day's power show started. Moorpark tied the game in the sixth, but Palomar came back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to score the tying and winning runs on Carlie Daniel's double, Falconieri's RBI single, Mercedes Montanez' double and Jaclyn Meester's RBI single.
The Comets run-ruled the Raiders in the second game on Brenna Parker's walk-off, three-run homer over the left field fence with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Daniel (first inning) and Montanez (second inning) both had slugged two-run homers earlier in the game.
Parker pitched Palomar to back-to-back wins behind outstanding defensive support from her teammates, particularly shortstop Megan Bartee.
Falconieri led the Comets offensively in the day's first game, going 3-for-3 with her HR and two RBIs.
In the second game, Palomar banged out 13 hits led by Parker (3-for-4, HR, double, 3 RBIs), Montanez (3-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs and Daniel (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs). Lebsock (2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt) also had multiple hits. Jaclyn Meester drove in two runs.
ABOVE:Palomar's Maren Lebsock delivers a two-run single to pull the Comets to within 5-3 of Moorpark in the seventh inning of Saturday's Southern California Regional first-round series opener. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Megan Bartee, who doubled in the inning and had two hits for the game
Palomar's rally falls a run short in the seventh
SAN MARCOS (5-4-2013) --Fourth-seeded Palomar saw a seventh-inning rally fall barely short as the Comets dropped their Southern California softball playoff opener 5-4 to visiting Moorpark on the Palomar field..
Trailing 5-1 to begin the inning, the Comets put together a double by Megan Bartee with a two-run single by Maren Lebsock and sngles by Jaclyn Meester, Brenna Parker and Paige Falconieri to score three runs.
That pulled the Comets to within a run of the Raiders, with the bases loaded, two out and Mercedes Montanez at the plate. Moorpark pitcher Danette A-Mar finally retired Montanez on a pop-up to shortstop Taylor Cartwright, who snow-coned the ball sprinting toward the pitcher's circle for the game's final out.
With the runners going with two outs, it appeared the Comets would have scored two runs and won the game if the ball would have popped out of Cartwright's glove.
Lebsock (above) went 3-for-4 for Palomar (25-12). Bartee, Parker and Meester each were 2-for-4.
The series continues on Sunday at noon at Palomar. If the Comets win, a third and deciding game will follow.The Raiders who can clinch the series with a win in the noon game, are 25-12-1.
Daniel is Pitcher of Year; Craft is Coach of Year
SAN DIEGO (4-25-2013) --Palomar freshman Carlie Daniel (left) was voted Pitcher of the Year honors in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference by PCAC coaches on Thursday.
The Comets' Lacey Craft was selected the conference's Coach of the Year.
Palomar teammates Brenna Parker and Jaclyn Meester also were voted to the all-conference first team. Kristin George, Maren Lebsock, Paige Falconieri and Jasmine Vogel made the second team.
ABOVE: Paige Falconieri homers over the left-field fence in the fourth inning for what turned out to be the winning run vs. Long Beach City College. BELOW: Falconieri's Palomar teammate Carlie Daniel delivers a pitch on her way to a four-hitter. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
Falconieri's HR lifts Comets past Long Beach 2-1
SAN MARCOS (4-24-2013) -- Paige Falconieri's solo home run over the left field fence to lead off the fourth inning lifted Palomar to a 2-1 non-conference victory over Long Beach City College on Wednesday afternoon at home as the Comets closed out their regular season at 25 wins and 11 losses.
Carlie Daniel threw a four-hitter for Palomar as she won a pitchers' duel from Long Beach's Candice Shadwell. Shadwell (19-13), coming off her third no-hitter of the season two weeks ago, pitched a three-hitter.
The Comets, trailing 1-0 after the Vikings scored an unearned run in the top of the first, had tied the game in the last half of the third. Kristin George singled to lead-off the inning. She advanced to second on Megan Bartee's sacririce bunt, went to third on Maren Lebsock's single to the right sie and scored on an error.
Lebsock had the Comets' other hit, a single in the first inning.
The Vikings fell to 24-16.
Palomar settles for tie for its 31st conference title
SAN MARCOS / EL CAJON (4-23-2013) -- Palomar settled for a tie with San Diego Mesa for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference softball championship on Tuesday when the Olympians defeated third-place Grossmont 8-2 on the Griffins' Field.
The conference title is the 31st for the Comets and the second for Mesa.
By winning the season series between the two teams, Palomar gets the No. 1 playoff seed among conference teams and will host a best-of-three first-round series to begin the Southern California playoffs on May 5-6.
The Comets will find out who they will be hosting at Saturday's seeding meeting.
Palomar and Mesa both finished the conference season with PCAC records of 11-4.
PC stuns state No. 3 Cypress, winds up splitting
SAN MARCOS (4-21-2013) --Brianna Parker (left) slugged a three-run home run in the bottom half of the third on Sunday as Palomar scored four runs in the inning and stunned state No. 3-ranked Cypress 5-4 in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader at the PC field.
The Orange Empire Conference co-champion Chargers (32-7) won the second game 6-4 despite home runs by Paige Falconieri (right) one on and Jasmine Vogel with the bases empty for the Comets (24-11).
Carlie Daniel was the winning pitcher in game No. 1, advancing to 14-4 on the season. She helped her own cause by gong 2-for-3 at the plate. Vogel went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs.
Megan Bartee, Maren Lebsock and Mercedes Montanez also hit safely.
Daniel went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the second game.
Parker had a single in game 2.
ABOVE: Palomar catcher Mercedes Montanez awaits a throw in Friday's game with Southwestern. --Photo by Peter Ahsue. BELOW LEFT: Carlie Daniel, who hit a two-run home run for the Comets. BELOW RIGHT: Jasmine Vogel, who was 2-for 3 with an RBI.
Chance for undisputed PCAC title is put on hold
SAN MARCOS (4-19-2013) --Palomar couldn't hold onto a 4-0 lead and dropped a 5-4 decision to visiting Southwestern on Friday, at least temporarily keeping the Comets from winning the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship outright.
The Comets (23-10), who clinched at least a tie for their 31st conference title on Wednesday, finished their conference season with a 11-4 record.
San Diego Mesa, which has not completed its season, can tie the Comets for the title, but Palomar won the season series from Olympics two games to one so already has the tie-breaker for the PCAC's No. 1 playoff seed in hand.
Carlie Daniel slugged a two-run home run for the Comets in the third inning and Palomar was up 4-0 going into the top of the fifth before the Jaguars came back.
Brenna Parker went 2-for-4 with a double for Palomar. Jasmine Vogel was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Kristin George singled and drove in a run. Megan Bartee, Paige Falconieri and Jaclyn Meester also hit safely.
Palomar, ranked ninth in the state, still has three non-conference games remaining before the Southern California playoffs, state No. 3-ranked Cypress in a double-header at noon Sunday, and Long Beach City College at 3 p.m. next Wednesday.
ABOVE: Brenna Parker slams her first of two home runs to give Palomar first-inning lead. She drove in five runs in the game. BELOW: Carlie Daniel sets up to throw a pitch in the fourth inning with the Comets in front 11-0. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
Comets win 12-0, clinch at least tie for PCAC title
EL CAJON (4-17-2013) --One day after the baseball team did the same thing, Palomar clinched at least a tie for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference softball championship on Wednesday.
The visiting Comets, led by the hitting of Brenna Parker and the pitching of Carlie Daniel, knocked Grossmont out of title contention with a 12-0, five-inning run-rule rout.
San Diego Mesa, which defeated Imperial Valley 12-1 on Wednesday, trails Palomar by 1 1/2 games with two to play. The Comets (23-9, 11-3) can win the conference outright by beating Southwestern in their PCAC finale on Friday at home.
Mesa (9-4), which trails Palomar by 1 1/2 games with two games to play, would have to beat San Diego City College and Grossmont in its final two games -- and the Comets would have to lose to Southwestern -- for the Olympians to tie for the title. Grossmont is out of title contention with a 8-5 conference record.
Parker dominated the G-House with her bat. The sophomore from Vista High School went 4-for-4, slammed two home runs, scored three runs and had five RBIs. Daniel dominated the Griffins with her arm. She pitched a two-hitter.
Megan Bartee led off the game with a single. Later in the inning, Parker and Paige Falconieri slugged back-to-back home runs and the Comets led 3-0 right out of the blocks. Palomar added three runs in the second ining, two in the third, three in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Bartee went 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Mercedes Montanez went 3-for-4. Maren Lebsock was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Daniel singled and drove in a run. Jasmine Vogel, KristinGeorge and Lizzy Hutzler also hit safely.
PC's upset bid falls one run short vs. No. 2 RCC
RIVERSIDE (4-16-2013) --To begin a huge week, Palomar came oh-so-close to knocking off the state's No. 2-ranked community college team, Riverside City College, on Tuesday afternoon on the Tigers' diamond.
Coach Lacey Craft's Comets took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning only to drop a 5-4 non-conference decision to the Tigers.
Riverside, which trails only No. 1 College of San Mateo in the state poll and is ranked first in Southern California, moves to 33-2 on the season. Palomar is 22-9.
The Comets have zero time to ponder how the game got away. They travel to Grossmont on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. game that could decide the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship, return home to face PCAC opponent Southwestern on Friday at the same time, then host state No. 3-ranked Cypress in a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday at 10 a.m.
But this is how the game got away: The Tigers scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, handing Palomar reliever Brenna Parker the loss.
For Palomar, Paige Falconieri (left) went 2-for-3 and slugged a three-run home run over the left-field fence on a 1-2 pitch thrown by RCC starter Katherine Macias in the fifth. The HR gave the Comets a 4-2 lead. Riverside came back with one run in the bottom of the inning to pull to within a run, setting the stage for its winning rally in the last half of the sixth.
Palomar, trailing 2-0, had gotten on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Emily Metz (right), returning to the lineup as a pinch-hitter after an injury, singled on an 0-2 pitch to drive in Falconieri, who had singled down the leftfield line and advanced on a fielder's choice and a single through the left side by Megan Bartee.
Chelsea Ponce (18-1) came on in relief to pitch two scoreless innings for RCC, recording the win. Alexus Daniels went 4-for-4 for the Tigers
PC pounds City 11-0 in another run-rule game
SAN DIEGO (4-11-2013) --Palomar pounded San Diego City College 11-0 on the road on Friday, upping its record to 22-8 on the season.
Freshman pitcher Carlie Daniel (left), who worked the first four innings in the five-inning run-rule game, combined with Brenna Parker on the shutout.
Paige Falconieri (right) had a big day at the plate for the Comets, going 2-for-4, slugging a home run, doubling and driving in four runs. Parker also homered and drove in three runs.
Maren Lebsock went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Jasmine Vogel was 2-for-2 with an RBI. Kristen George added a single and two RBIs.
Palomar broke open a scoreless game with six runs in the third inning, added five runs in the top of the fifth.
The Comets remain alone in first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference with a 10-3 record. San Diego Mesa and Grossmont are tied for second place at 8-4.
City College, which had six hits, fell to 18-16-1, 6-7.
Palomar's non-conference home double-header with Cypress, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been switched to a week from Sunday, on April 21. The first game is slated for 10 a.m.
ABOVE: Brenna Parker delivers a pitch on her way to a two-hitter in Wednesday's 9-0 victory over Imperial Valley. BELOW: Mercedes Montanez smashes a bases-loaded double to drive in three runs in the fourth inning. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
Parker throws 2-hitter as Comets run-rule Arabs
SAN MARCOS (4-10-2013) --Brenna Parker threw a two-hitter, advancing to 10-4 on the season, as Palomar run-ruled visiting Imperial Valley 9-0 on Wednesday.
The Comets moved to 21-8 on the season, 9-3 to continue to lead the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.
Mercedes Montanez paced an 11-hit attack for coach Lacey Craft's club. She went 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Montanez broke the 4 1/2-inning game wide open in the fourth inning when she clubbed a bases-clearing, three-run double.
Carlie Daniel went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Maren Lebsock and Kristin George also had multiple hits. Lebsock went 2-for-2. Geroge was 2-for-3.
Parker went 2-for-1, walked twice and droveinn a run. Megan Bartee and Jaclyn Meester each added a single.
Parker, Bartee and Palomar top Southwestern
SAN MARCOS (4-05-2013) --Brenna Parker (left) pitched a four-hitter, striking out eight and walkinng none, as Palomar recorded its 20th victory on Friday afternoon, turning back visiting Southwestern 2-0 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference rain make-up.
Megan Bartee (right), who stepped into the starting shortstop job this week after an injury to Emily Metz, continued to be red-hot at the plate as she drove in the game's only two runs.
The freshman from Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore homered in the second inning, driving in Jaclyn Meester who had singled with one out. Bartee wound up going 3-for-3, adding singles in the fourth and sixth innings.
Meester contributed two singles.
Coach Lacey Craft's team (20-8, 8-3), took a one-half game lead in the conference race over San Diego Mesa (24-7, 7-3) and Grossmont (21-10, 7-3), who both were idle. The three teams were tied for first place entering the game.
Comets lose on unearned runs, back in tie for 1st
SAN DIEGO (4-03-2013) --Palomar finds itself back into a tie for first place in he Pacific Coast Athletic Conference after being upset by San Diego Mesa 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Mesa. The Olympians were a game out entering the game.
The Comets, Mesa and Grossmont, a 4-0 winner over Southwestern, are now tied for first place.
The Olympians scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first and made the lead stand up.
Carlie Daniel was the hard-luck losing pitcher for the Comets. She threw a two-hit complete game.
The Comets (19-8, 7-3 in the conference) scored their run in the third. Kristin George led off the inning with a single. Maren Lebsock moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. George took third on a wild pitch, then scored on Danie's sacrifice fly.
Megan Bartee (left) had two singles for the Comets. Jaclyn Meestrer doubled. Paige Falconieri and George singled.
Palomar will host Southwestern in a rain make-up on Friday at 3 p.m.
Comets go on road and down Santa Ana 6-2
SANTA ANA (4-02-2013) -- Palomar, getting a complete-game five-hitter from winning pitcher Brenna Parker (right), a two-run homer from Paige Falconieri and a 2-for-3, 1-RBI performance from Mercedes Montanez, went on the road and tagged Santa Ana with a 6-2 non-conference loss on Tuesday.
Parker allowed one earned run in running her win-loss record to 7-4 on the season. The Comets, meanwhile, knocked out seven hits in handing the Dons' Devin Rodriguez (8-3) the loss.
Parker singled and drove in two runs. Jasmine Vogel, Maren Lebsock and Megan Bartee, starting at shortstop due to an injury, also had RBI singles.
Palomar jumped out to a 6-0 lead after 4 1/2 innings in advancing to 19-7 on the season. Santa Ana falls to 16-10.
ABOVE: Palomar's Jaclyn Meester applies tag on Southwestern's Sonia Mazon sliding into the third-base bag. -- Photo courtesy of Russ Scoffin, Southwestern College. BELOW: Paige Falconieri, who went 2-for-4 with a grand-slam home run as the Comets banged out 13 hits.
Palomar back in first by itself after 9-0 victory
CHULA VISTA (3-27-2013) -- Palomar banged its way back into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference on Wednesday, winning 9-0 on the road over Southwestern while San Diego Mesa, which had been tied for the conference lead, was losing to San Diego City College 6-5.
Paige Falconieri had a big day at the plate for the Comets (18-7, 7-2 in conference) as she went 2-for-4 with a grand-slam home run that broke the game open in the sixth inning. The grand-slam put Palomar up by the final 9-0 margin and allowed the Comets to run-rule the Jaguars after they went down in the bottom of the inning.
Winning pitcher Carlie Daniel (11-3) combined on Brenna Parker to shut out the Jaguars. Parker relieved Daniel in the bottom of the fifth with Palomar up 3-0 and picked up the save.
Jaclyn Meester (3-for-4 with an RBI), Kristin George (2-for-4, 2 RBIs), Parker (2-for-3, walk, RBI) and Jasmine Vogel (2-for-3, walk) also had multiple hits for Palomar.
Daniel is named Southern Cal Pitcher of the Week
AZUSA (3-22-2013) -- Palomar freshman Carlie Daniel, a San Marcos High School product, has been selected as Southern California Pitcher of the Week for the week ending Sunday, March 16, by the California Community College Fast-Pitch Softball Coaches Association.
Daniel was the winning pitcher in a big 4-2 victory over visiting San Diego Mesa, the defending Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champion.
The win enabled to Comets to clinch the season series against the Olympians, which could become crucial if there is a tie for first place. Palomar leads the three-game season series 2-1.
She also pitched a complete-game victory over College of the Canyons.
Daniel helped lead Palomar to four wins durimng the week. At the plate, she was 9-for-12 with three doubles, a triple, seven runs scored and three RBIs.
State No. 4-ranked Mt. SAC takes 2 from Palomar