So monumental was the blast at Margie Wright Diamond early Saturday afternoon, there’s not a softball center fielder in the land who would have had a chance at catching it.
That counts Laura Berg in her prime as a Fresno State four-year All-American and three-time Olympian.
But it partly explains why Berg – now as Oregon State’s coach – recruited Mariah Mazon so aggressively she received a commitment from the Mission Oak High School pitcher/first baseman as a freshman.
Two years after that agreement, Mazon pitched a four-hitter and hit the two-run homer – a 250-foot blast near the base of the flag pole in the seventh inning – while powering the Hawks to a 4-1 win over top-seeded Selma for a repeat Central Section Division IV title.
And this came a year after Mazon homered and pitched Mission Oak to a 2-0 road conquest of Wasco in the D-IV final.
Imagine, Hawks coach Dina DaSilva walking away from such a prized talent.
“You’d think I’d stay to ride that one,” said DaSilva, who launched the Mission Oak program in 2009 but is resigning to concentrate on personal commitments, namely cross training. “But I’ll let someone else enjoy the fruits of that kid’s labor.”
And that’s some serious produce.
Mazon finished the season with a 22-3 record, an 0.55 ERA and nine home runs, increasing her three-year career total to 27.
Selma sophomore Hailey Garcia (13-3) meant to throw Mazon a strike in the seventh after walking the No. 3 hitter in her first three at-bats.
“We weren’t challenging her,” said coach Kellen Kubo, whose Bears finished 24-5. “The plan the whole time was to keep the ball away and try to get her to swing at real bad pitches.”
Only this one, Mazon said with a chuckle, “was down the middle.”
It followed Morgan Bowen’s single in an inning that began with second-seeded Mission Oak (23-5-1) leading 2-1.
And it calmed a Selma throng that had erupted the previous inning on Anisah Navarro’s RBI triple to the left-center field wall following a walk to Allyson Trevino.
“We needed to get some runs after they scored that one,” Mazon said. “I was thinking, ‘She’s not going to walk me another time. I’m going to get one and it’s going to go over (the fence).’ ”
A red 220-foot marker hangs atop the center-field wall, but there was no question on contact the smash would clear that distance with ease.
The Hawks, who placed second to Monache in the East Yosemite League, took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on Bowen’s double, a walk to Mazon, Maddison Servadio’s sacrifice, Larissa Molezzo’s RBI double and Aubrey Cardoza’s run-scoring groundout.
Mission Oak 4, Selma 1
Mission Oak (24-5-1)
WP: Mariah Mazon (22-3, CG, 7Ks). LP: Hailey Garcia (13-3, CG, 5Ks). MO, Morgan Bowen 22-4, 2B, 2R; Mazon 1-1, HR, 2RBI, 3BB; Larissa Molezzo RBI 2B. S, Anisah Navarro 1-2, RBI 3B.