East County

Pacific Coast A.C. Champions: 2007, '08, '10 & '11

Eggleston leads the Griffin sextuplet of All-Conference members

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
SAN DIEGO (4-29-15) — Six Grossmont College Griffins have been tabbed as All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference members.

MELISSA EGGLESTON and AMANDA HARTNET were both named to the First Team, while NICOLE BALINGER, KAYLA BROWNING and AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT were all named to the Second Team and BRIANA STRANDBERG was an Honorable Mention.

Amanda "AJ" Wygant, Nicole Balinger and Melissa Eggleston were all named to the 2015 All-PCAC. Photo courtesy of Grossmont College.

Eggleston was named to the 2014 All-PCAC First Team as well. This season, the sophomore shortstop led the Griffins in eight different categories including batting average (.339), at bats (121), runs (31), hits (41), triples (3), home runs (1, tied for lead), walks (18) and stolen bases (28, also led the conference).

Hartnet was a second team member last year and moved up to first team this season. Hartnet was one of only three Griffins to hit .300 or better (Eggleston and Browning). Amanda also hit the most doubles on the team (9) and along with Eggleston and Wygant was tied for the team lead in home runs. The sophomore third baseman was second on the team with 12 stolen bases and reached on 14 free passes.

The Griffin trio of second teamers also made up the battery for the Griffins. Balinger and Wygant were the only two pitchers this season for Grossmont and Browning caught every single inning this season for the Green and Gold. The trio combined for the most strikeouts as a staff in the conference and a top 25 mark in the State.

Balinger had a 2.95 ERA (4th in the PCAC) over her 177 2/3 innings pitched (led the PCAC). Nicole threw 21 complete games (2nd in the conference), and her 14 wins were also second most in the PCAC.

AJ was a solid performer for the Griffins in 2015. She was in the top 20 in five separate categories in the PCAC. The sophomore first baseman led the team in putouts and as mentioned previously tied for the team lead in home runs. Amanda also was top five in five categories on the team level.

Browning, an honorable mention last season, was one of three Griffins with a .300 or better average as mentioned above. She was the runner-up among Griffins in hits with 38.

Freshman centerfielder Strandberg led the team with 19 RBI this season. The newcomer also was the hardest to strikeout among the standard lineup as she only struck out four times in 108 at bats (3.7%).

The PCAC player, pitcher and coach of the year all came from Palomar College who won the conference for the 32nd time in the 38 year history of the program. Karli Pugh (Player), Summer Evans (Pitcher) and Lacey Craft (Coach) were the three main award winners.

Pitchers rule what could be “longest” game in Griffin history

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (4-23-15) — In what could be the longest game in school history, the Griffins defeated San Diego Mesa 2-1 in a game that officially went over 120 hours at the Griffin Softball Diamond that ended on Wednesday (Apr. 22) in what ends up being the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference 2015 finale. The game went according to the box score, 122 hours and three minutes. This game was a real life, albeit longer version, of when an East Coast MLB game gets over after all the West Coast games are over.

On Friday (Apr. 17), in the bottom of the fifth with one out and MELISSA EGGLESTON (0-2, run) on second base the game was halted due to the base umpire falling ill. When one umpire falls ill, both teams must agree to play with only one umpire. That agreement never came to fruition on Friday, so the game was officially suspended with the Griffins (17-18-1, 11-7 PCAC) leading 1-0. Wednesday (Apr. 22) saw the same umpire feeling much better after a four day break to get healthy.

KAYLA BROWNING (0-0, 2 walks) resumed her plate appearance with a walk. NICOLE BALINGER (1-2, RBI) doubled down the left field line to plate Eggleston to give the Green and Gold a 2-0 lead after five.

Mesa (17-15, 12-6 PCAC) went quietly one, two, three in the sixth. The same could not be said of the bottom half of the inning. After getting two quick outs, JENNIFER CARPENTER (L, 13-9 (Steele Canyon)) allowed a double to KATIE HARRIS (1-3). The next batter popped out to the shortstop to end the threat.

Courtney Black hit a no-doubter to left field for her third home run to bring Mesa to within 2-1. The five of the final six batters were pitch hitters. The steady stream of pinch hitters began with a walk. Then a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second with one out. The center fielder, the only batter that wasn’t pinch hit for, singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. Balinger then got the final two to go strikeout, foul out.

The loss for Mesa sees them finish in a tie with Southwestern for second place in the PCAC. The Olympians get the tiebreaker and the second seed from the conference by virtue of their season sweep of the Jaguars.

The conference meeting will be held on Friday at San Diego City College and will produce the 2015 All-Conference teams. That will be the precursor to the CCCAA Softball seeding meeting which will be held at College of the Canyons on Saturday.

Hartnet has good day in Griffin loss

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
CHULA VISTA (4-21-15) — The last full game of the year for the Grossmont College Griffins saw the team lose 4-2 at Southwestern College on Tuesday (Apr. 21) in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference contest. Grossmont will finish their suspended game from last Friday (Apr. 17) tomorrow at 3:00.

AMANDA HARTNET (3-4, 2 RBI) was the top hitter for the Griffins (16-18-1, 10-7 PCAC), both literally and figuratively. Hartnet was in the leadoff spot in the order, and was the only Grossmont hitter with multiple hits.

Grossmont scored single runs in the second and fourth innings, while posting eight hits and committing a pair of errors.

Southwestern (25-15, 12-6 PCAC) has a chance of finishing in a tie for second if the Griffins can pull out a win over Mesa (17-14, 12-5 PCAC) in the suspended game. Mesa has the tiebreaker by sweeping the season series over Southwestern.

Griffins jump early, hang late

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (4-16-15) — After jumping out with a big first inning, the Griffins had to hang on late in the game. They still managed to secure a 5-3 victory over Mt. San Jacinto in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game on Wednesday (Apr. 15). The top of the Griffin (15-17-1, 10-6 PCAC) lineup was tearing the cover off the ball going a combined 6-9 with five runs scored and a pair of RBI. By contrast the middle of Mt. San Jacinto's (10-20, 4-12 PCAC) lineup went 2 for 8 with a RBI. The Eagles scored a single run in the top of the first. In the Griffin half, AMANDA HARTNETT (2-3, 2 runs) led off the game with a single through the right side. After stealing second base, she scored on a MELISSA EGGLESTON (3-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI) single to center field. KAYLA BROWNING (1-3, run) reached on an error which allowed Eggleston to advance on third. Browning then stole second to put two runners in scoring position. On a attempted suicide squeeze play, NICOLE BALINGER (0-2, RBI) had to duck out of the way of the pitch. Eggleston and Browning were both moving and by the time that they realized what was going on it looked too late for Eggleston. But when the throw went down to third, Eggleston stopped and broke to home. Melissa slid home around the tag and scored. While all of this was happening at the plate, Browning was moving up to third. After an out, BRIANA STRANDBERG (0-2, RBI) hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Kayla for a 3-1 Griffin lead. In the third, MSJC put another run up on the board to cut the Griffin lead to 3-2. Eggleston singled to center and then stole second, one of six thefts on the day by Grossmont. Browning singled to right to move Eggleston to third and put runners on the corners. Balinger hit a sacrifice fly to right to being in Eggleston to increase the lead to 4-2. For the fourth inning, Hartnett hit a two out double down the leftfield line. She moved up 60 feet on a wild pitch. Eggleston singled through the left side for her final RBI of the day and a Griffin 5-2 lead. Mt. San Jacinto closed out the scoring in the fifth inning with a single run.

Friday (Apr. 17) will be Grossmont's final home game of the 2015 season.

Late power propels Citrus to victory

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (4-12-15) — One team came in fighting to stay alive in the CCCAA Playoff race. The other team came in looking to lockup a top seed. Records did not disappoint on Saturday (Apr. 11) at the Griffin Softball Diamond as Citrus College exited with a 9-2 victory and all but locks up a top four spot and hosting for the first round of the playoffs that start in a couple of weeks.

The Griffins (14-17-1) took the early lead in the bottom of the first. AMANDA HARTNETT (1-3, run scored) reached on the first of Citrus’ five errors on the day. MELISSA EGGLESTON (1-4) doubled to left field to push Hartnett to third. NICOLE BALINGER (0-4, RBI) hit a soft grounder back to the pitcher. Hartnett broke and it was a foot race to the plate. Hartnett won the race to put the Griffins up 1-0. The play advanced Eggleston to third. KAYLA BROWNING (2-4) hit a grounder to shortstop. The shortstop decided to get Eggleston at home and allow Browning to reach on a fielder’s choice.

In the top of the third, Citrus’ (26-8) leadoff batter and catcher Jessica Brown launched the first of two home runs on the day to straight away centerfield to tie the game up at 1-1.

Moving to the fourth inning, the Griffins retook the lead 2-1. BRIANNA STRANDBERG (1-4, run scored) reached on another Owl error. After moving over to second on a groundout, ANGIE ACKERMAN (1-3, RBI) singled up the middle and moved up to second on the throw home to try and get Strandberg. However Strandberg slid in safely.

In the sixth, the Owls started a rally. With one out, the Citrus left fielder singled to left to put runners on first and second. The right fielder hit a grounder to Hartnett at third. The throw to first clearly beat the batter, however the umpire called her safe to load the bases. The next batter, Brown, hit a bases clearing double to left field to put the Owls on top for good. Brown was brought in one batter later when she doubled to right center to push the Citrus lead to 5-2.

The seventh saw Citrus hit an RBI double which was followed with an RBI single. Brown at this point thought “Hey, I need number 14.” So she took a 1-2 rise ball and deposited it 215 feet away for a two run homer.

The Griffins will host Mt. San Jacinto in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference tilt on Wednesday (Apr. 15) and San Diego Mesa on Friday (Apr. 17)this week. In order to get into the playoffs, the Griffins will need to get second place in the PCAC.

Comets streak across field to put Griffins on life support

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (4-9-15) — With the season coming down the final stretch, each and every game carries exponentially more importance. Such was the case on Wednesday (Apr. 8) when the Palomar Comets traveled down the I-15 to take on the Griffins in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference matchup.

The PCAC undefeated Comets (26-1-1, 15-0 PCAC) took their 23rd overall, 33rd consecutive PCAC victory 5-0 over Grossmont (14-16-1, 9-6 PCAC). This was Palomar's 10th shutout of the season. What do all of these stats for Palomar tell you? Simple, business as usual in the PCAC.

What is not business as usual is that with the loss and coupled with the victory that SD Mesa picked up over Mt. San Jacinto, the Griffins find themselves one game back of Mesa with three games to go — including a head to head matchup a week from Friday (Apr. 17) on the campus of Grossmont College.

As for the highlights from the Palomar game, KAYLA BROWNING and KATIE HARRIS each had a single hit accounting for both Griffin hits.

NICOLE BALINGER (L, 12-12) did the best she could to keep the Comets in check.

Mesa defeated Mt. San Jacinto in Menifee to move one game clear of Grossmont for second place. Making next week's game even more important for the Griffins.

Griffins pull one out with a dominant eighth

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
IMPERIAL (4-4-15) — The Grossmont College Griffins were forced to work overtime on Friday (Apr. 3) as they defeated Imperial Valley 9-5 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference match up.

MELISSA EGGLESTON (1-5, run scored, stolen base) took a day off from her recent crime spree by only stealing one base (she has stolen nine of her last 10 attempts) in the Griffins’ (14-15-1, 9-5 PCAC) victory.

KAYLA BROWNING (3-4, run scored, three RBI) and AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT (3-4, RBI) were the leaders of the hitting attack that saw eight of the nine batters register a hit. Seven of the nine batters scored a run and six batters brought in a run.

Wygant (no decision) threw very well over the first five innings allowing only one run. Then the Arabs started to figure her out and scored a pair of runs in the sixth and she was responsible for two runs that tied the game in the seventh.

NICOLE BALINGER (12-11) got the win in relief of AJ as she came in and closed down the Arabs in the seventh and held them scoreless in the eighth.

The Griffins were held scoreless in the first three innings. The Green and Gold scored a pair of runs in the fourth and a trio in the fifth. While IVC was tying the game up, Grossmont was being held scoreless. In the eighth, GC unloaded for four runs.

Grossmont and San Diego Mesa are now in a tie for second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, with four games left to play.

Mesa’s remaining schedule has them at home against Southwestern and Imperial Valley (final game) and on the road against Mt. San Jacinto and a very important matchup on April 17 at Grossmont.

The Griffins will be closing out with three home games; Wednesday (April 8) against front-running Palomar, a Tax Day match up against Mt. San Jacinto and the home finale against Mesa. The final game of the season for Grossmont will be at Southwestern Tuesday (Apr. 21).

Both teams have two remaining non-conference games as well, and both teams will be hosting on Saturday (Apr. 11). Mesa a double header vs. Glendale (fourth in the Western State-Blue), while GC will be hosting a single game against Citrus (Western State-Blue leaders). Grossmont’s last non-conference game will be at LA Harbor (last in the South Coast Conference).

The final three weeks will be fun to watch as a fan!

Eggleston helps Griffins steal victory from City

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
SAN DIEGO (4-2-15) — There is a pretty good chance that someone was calling the San Diego Police Department on Wednesday (Apr. 1) from Betty Hock Field on the campus of San Diego City College.

You would have to assume that, since MELISSA EGGLESTON stole five bases as the Griffins defeated City 4-3 to move to within a half a game of second place San Diego Mesa in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference standings.

Eggleston (2-3, 2 runs scored, 5 stolen bases) was the catalyst of the Griffins (13-15-1, 8-5 PCAC) offense. Joining Eggleston in the multi-hit club was NICOLE BALINGER (2-4, RBI), BRIANNA STRANDBERG (2-3) and NOELLE PONTIUS (2-4).

Balinger (W, 11-11) started the game and went five innings, allowing seven hits, three runs (two earned). She also issued four free passes to first base while four strike outs. AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT (Sv, 1) got the “six out save” as she threw the final two innings to close out the victory.

Grossmont travels to Imperial Valley on Friday (Apr. 3) to close out the season series against Imperial Valley.

San Diego Mesa (13-13, 9-5 PCAC, 2nd place) is a half a game up on Grossmont. The Olympians will not play again until April 8 when they travel to Mt. San Jacinto (9-15, 3-8 PCAC).

San Bernardino 2, Griffins 1 — No one would claim that Tuesday’s (Mar. 31) non-league contest between San Bernardino Valley and the Griffins was an offensive display. The two teams combined for four hits and 11 base runners COMBINED.

Grossmont’s hits came from Melissa Eggleston (1-3, run scored) and Noelle Pontius (1-1).

Amanda “AJ” Wygant (1-4) was the hard luck loser going the distance allowing two hits, a walk and striking out three.

Playoffs still a possibility after win over Mesa

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
KEARNY MESA (3-26-15) — The Grossmont College Griffins bounced back nicely and defeated second place San Diego Mesa by a 6-2 score in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday (Mar. 25).

KAYLA BROWNING (3-4) lead the Griffin (12-14-1, 7-5 PCAC) offense as they have now clawed to within a game of Mesa (12-12, 8-4 PCAC) for second place with seven conference games remaining.

NICOLE BALINGER got the start against the Olympians and had a good first frame before allowing a run in the second, before registering her first college save.

AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT took over in the third inning. Wygant had a nice outing going three-plus innings for the win.

Meanwhile, while Balinger and Wygant were doing their thing in the circle, so was Mesa’s pitcher.

Grossmont started out the game going 0-12 through the first four innings. The Griffins finally got in the second column on the scoreboard in the fifth with a pair of hits.

Then came the sixth!

The Griffins got the sixth started with NOELLE PONTIUS reached via an error. MELISSA EGGLESTON doubled to put runners on second and third. Browning then came up and brought both of them in with a double of her own. Balinger got a single to bring in Browning and give the G-House a 3-1 score through five and a half.

With Mesa going quietly in the sixth, set the stage for the Griffins to add to their lead.

Mesa brought in freshman Shannon Ribera who had only appeared in five games. In her sixth game of the season, she showed why her ERA is north of 5.50.

Eggleston came up with bases loaded and came up with an RBI single. Browning laid down a beautiful RBI bunt single that had the Mesa defense playing “I’ve got it, you take it.” When the dust finally settled at the end of the inning it was 6-1 in favor of the Griffins.

Mesa coaxed a bases loaded walk out of Wygant to bring in the Olympians’ second run of the game. Balinger came back in with the tying run at the plate. She had nothing to worry about as Mesa hit a soft liner to Eggleston who then tagged the runner at second for the game ending double play.

“This was a good game after yesterday,” coach DOUG HARTUNG stated. “We were focused and very businesslike today against Mesa.”

The Griffins will step out of conference play in their next game on Tuesday (Mar. 31) when San Bernardino Valley (15-9, 5-2, third place in the Foothill Conference) comes to El Cajon.

If the Griffins win out, Grossmont will be in a good position to make the CCCAA Southern California playoffs.

Conference title looking less and less likely

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (3-25-15) — It is getting down to crunch time for the Griffin softball team. Entering Tuesday’s (Mar. 24) Pacific Coast Athletic Conference matchup with Southwestern, Grossmont only had eight conference games. Exiting that game, the Griffins hope not to have many more like the 10-6 loss to Southwestern if they hope to make the CCCAA playoffs.

Grossmont (11-14-1, 6-5 PCAC) now are hanging on by a thread for the conference title. With Palomar idle on Tuesday and not scheduled to play a conference game until Friday (vs Imperial Valley), the Griffins are four and a half games back with the above mentioned eight games remaining. The last time Palomar lost more than two games in a conference season was back when Marty McFly was talking to Doc Brown in the Back to the Future movies.

The day certainly didn’t start out looking so grim for the Griffins as they allowed one run in the top of the first. MELISSA EGGLESTON (1-3, run scored) started the bottom of the inning with a walk. KAYLA BROWNING (0-3, run scored) reached on an error by the Jaguar third baseman to move Eggleston to second. With Eggleston and Browning both moving, the Jags catcher overthrew third and allowed both runners to move up 60 feet. AMANDA HARTNETT (1-3, run scored, 2 RBI) doubled them both home to give the Griffins a 2-1 lead. NICOLE BALINGER (2-2, run scored) walked to put runners on first and second. Hartnett saw an opening and stole third to put runners on the corners for BRIANA STRANDBERG (1-3, run scored). Strandberg got enough under one to create a sacrifice fly to bring in Hartnett to make it 3-1 after one.

Southwestern (17-14, 5-5 PCAC) came right back with two runs in the top of the second to tie the game and make it look at the outset, like it was going to be a scorefest.

In the fourth, the Jaguars decided to blow the game open. They scored four runs on only one hit and three Griffin errors. To continue that theme in the sixth Southwestern scored another three runs on five hits and only one miscue from the Griffins to make it 10-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Griffins came out firing to try and tie the game up. With one out, Balinger singled to center. Strandberg thought, “hey that is a good idea,” so she did the exact same thing to put runners on first and second. AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT (2-4, run scored, 3 RBI) said “psh, let’s go big” and hit a 3-run homer to center to bring the Griffins within slam range at 10-6. However, that is where the game would end.

“If we made some plays, it’s a game we should’ve won” head coach DOUG HARTUNG said after the game.

The Griffins will look to rebound and chip into the deficit they have against Mesa when they travel to Kearny Mesa on Friday for a 3 p.m. first pitch.

Griffins double up Imperial Valley in early matinee

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (3-19-15) — Both Amanda’s on the Griffins roster had a powerful day against Imperial Valley as they energized the Grossmont 4-2 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference match-up on Wednesday (Mar. 18).

AMANDA HARTNET (2-3, run scored, RBI) and AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT (1-3) each had an extra base hit in their arsenal. Hartnet hit a double and had a stolen base, AJ had a triple for her lone hit on the day.

The Griffins scored single runs in the first two innings. They then pushed across a pair of runs in the third. However, that is all the scoring the Green and Gold would score the rest of the way. Imperial Valley scored two runs in the sixth to close to two runs.

Grossmont will travel North to Mt. San Jacinto on Friday (Mar. 20) before heading even further up the I-15 for a non-conference game on Saturday at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.

Tough day at the office for Griffins

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
CYPRESS (3-8-15) — The Grossmont College softball team dropped both ends of a non-conference doubleheader to sixth ranked Cypress College on Saturday (Mar. 7).

The Griffins (9-10-1) struggled against good Charger (14-3) pitching. In game one, the Griffins scored all three of their runs in the seventh making it close but dropping the game 4-3. Game two was a more lopsided victory for Cypress as they registered a 7-2 victory.

In the early game, Cypress scored twice in the second, and single runs in the third and fourth to gain a 4-0 lead. That lead continued until the Griffins final chance in the top seventh.

NICOLE BALINGER (1-3) started a double fest with a double to left. She was replaced by pinch runner NOELLE PONTIUS. BRIANA STRANDBERG (1-2, run scored, RBI) brought in Pontius with a double of her own also to left. AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT (1-3, run scored, RBI) rounded out the doubles fest with the third consecutive double to left to bring in Strandberg. On a crazy play, ARISA ROSADO (2-3, RBI) singled and was caught in a rundown, that she was eventually caught by the second baseman. While she was in the rundown, Wygant came around and scored to close out the scoring.

In the circle, Balinger (L, 9-7) allowed eight hits and four runs (three earned) in an outing that she did not allow a walk but did strikeout four.

Game two saw the Griffins get on the board quickly with a run in the first. MELISSA EGGLESTON (3-4, run scored) got things rolling with a single to center. She eventually found herself on third after an out and a wild pitch. Balinger (2-3, run scored, RBI) singled to third to bring in Eggleston.

The Chargers took a lead they would never relinquish in the bottom of the first with three runs.

In the fourth, Balinger singled to left to begin the rally. Strandberg (0-3) reached on a fielding error by the shortstop and moved up to second as well. That pushed Balinger to third with no outs. Rosado (0-2, RBI) grounded out to the pitcher to bring Nicole home and push Strandberg over to third and bring the Griffins to within a run at 3-2. The rally ended there however, because of back to back groundouts.

Cypress, just as they did in the first, scored three in the bottom of the fourth to push their lead to 6-2. Taylor Pierce capped off the Chargers scoring with a solo home run in the sixth.

Wygant (L, 0-3) took the loss in a sub-par performance.

Tuesday (Mar. 10), the Griffins will look to get some revenge on the Orange Empire Conference when they take on the third place team Santa Ana for a 3 p.m. first pitch in Orange County.

Griffins slay the Knights

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (3-7-15) — The Griffins on Friday (Mar. 6) were looking to continue their winning ways, and they accomplished that goal by defeating San Diego City 4-2 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference contest at Grossmont.

AMANDA HARTNET, BRIANA STRANDBERG and AMANDA "AJ" WYGANT all had multi-hit days for the Griffins (9-8-1, 5-2). Each of those hitters had a double as part of their attacks.

City (5-12, 1-6) got on the board in the first inning. After ALEX GALATIS got a hit to lead the game off, she was sacrificed over to second and third on back-to-back sacrifice bunts. MALIN ELLSTROM walked to put runners on the corners for the Knights. Two pitches into the fifth hitter, City executed a successful double steal.

The Knights enjoyed their lead until the bottom of the third. That is when the Griffin offensive engine started up.

With one out, MELISSA EGGLESTON (1-3, run scored, 2 stolen bases) got a single right back up the middle. She then stole second, a theme that happened quite frequently (five total for the Griffins, seven total for the game), to put herself in scoring position. KAYLA BROWNING (0-3) grounded out to third, but Eggleston took advantage of some lackluster attention and advanced to third. Hartnet (2-3, two runs scored, RBI) doubled to right center field. NICOLE BALINGER (1-4, RBI, W (9-6)) followed that up with another double down the left field line to bring in Hartnet to give the Griffins a lead they would never relinquish.

AJ Wygant (2-3) doubled to right center to get things rolling in the fourth. KATIE HARRIS (0-3, run scored) laid down a bunt to try and advance Wygant. Instead, the City third base defender wheeled around and got the out at third, allowing Harris to reach on the fielder's choice. ARISA ROSADO (1-2, RBI) stepped up for her first plate appearance and laced a double over the left fielders head to bring in Harris.

Hartnet got things rolling once again with a single to left. Strandberg (2-3, RBI) got a pitch she liked and hit it to the base of the left field wall. That allowed Hartnet to come all the way around to score the Griffins fourth and final run of the day.

"We got some really big hits when we needed them," Head Coach DOUG HARTUNG said.

City got a pair of doubles in the top of the seventh to push across one run.

The Griffins will travel to Orange Empire's front runners and sixth ranked Cypress (12-3, 6-1 OEC) for a non-conference doubleheader in Orange County. First pitch is scheduled for High Noon.

Griffins win in come from behind style

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
CHULA VISTA (3-5-15) — The Grossmont College Griffins scored the tying run in the sixth and winning run in the seventh to down Southwestern in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game on Wednesday (March 4) by a 3-2 score.

NICOLE BALINGER (8-6) went seven innings allowing three hits and two runs. One of those runs came via a home run to BRANDI McCRYSTAL (West Hills).

Southwestern had the bases loaded and Balinger got out of the jam with a grounder to MELISSA EGGLESTON.

In the seventh, Southwestern had the game tying and winning runs on second and third. Balinger again got another grounder to Eggleston to get out of the jam and get the win.

AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT of Grossmont (8-8-1, 4-2 PCAC) was on base three times. She scored the game tying game in the sixth and knocked in the winning run in the seventh.

Grossmont will host San Diego City (5-11, 1-5 PCAC) on Friday (Mar. 6) at 3 p.m.

The Olympians prove the Eagles correct

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-28-15) — The Eagles had a hit song “Heartbreak Tonight,” and that is exactly what the Griffins dealt with on Friday (Feb. 27) in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game.

One unearned run in the top of the first was the difference in the game. “It was a great battle,” Griffin head coach DOUG HARTUNG said. “It was a great softball game. This makes 16 straight scoreless innings for NICOLE (BALINGER), and 23 of her last 24 innings.”

Both pitchers were as the players would say “On point” with their pitching. Total offensive production between the two clubs, was one run and six hits.

With only six hits (three per team) there were certainly not many hitting stars, in fact no hitter had more than one hit.

KAYLA BROWNING (1-2 with a walk) was the only Griffin (7-8-1, 3-2 PCAC) with an extra base hit. Joining Browning in the hit column were BRIANA STRANDBERG (1-3) and Balinger (1-3).

In the circle, Balinger went the distance allowing the one unearned run on three hits and three strikeouts.

Weather permitting, the Griffins will travel to Wilmington in Los Angeles Saturday (Feb. 28) to take on LA Harbor. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Griffins take care of business in the desert

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
IMPERIAL (2-21-15) —Pacific Coast Athletic Conference athlete of the week MELISSA EGGLESTON was back to her tricks again after being disciplined on Wednesday. With her back in the lineup, the Griffins defeated Imperial Valley 3-2 on Friday (Feb. 20) just outside of El Centro.

Eggleston was benched for the first part of Grossmont’s (6-7-1, 2-1 PCAC) loss to Palomar on Wednesday, before resuming her spot at shortstop in the top of the fourth. On Friday, she went 2-for-4 with a double a stolen base and scored a run.

Imperial Valley (5-5, 1-2 PCAC) scored both of their runs in the bottom of the third, when Michelle Torres drove in both runs.

The Griffins got going quickly as they scored all three of the runs they would need in the top of the first.

NICOLE BALINGER got her sixth win of the season after throwing five hit ball across all seven innings.

Grossmont will begin a two game home stand on Wednesday (Feb. 25) when Mt. San Jacinto comes to the Griffin softball complex for a 3 p.m. first pitch.

Griffins come up short to State power

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-19-15) © Two costly errors lead Palomar College to a 5-3 victory over Grossmont on Wednesday (Feb. 18) at the Griffin Softball complex.

AMANDA HARTNET had a heck of a day for Grossmont, going 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot and played a part in all three runs (scored two, drove one in).

NICOLE BALINGER kept the Griffins in the game after some rockiness in the first half of the game – she closed the door on the Comets allowing only one hit in the final three frames.

Last weekend the Griffins finished up the Mt. San Jacinto tournament by defeating Chaffey 10-2 and then falling to the eighth best team in SoCal Fullerton 10-4.

Shortstop MELISSA EGGLESTON went 3-for-6 with a home run and three runs batted in on her way to being named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference athlete of the week.

The Griffins will be traveling to the desert to take on Imperial Valley College on Friday (Feb. 20) to try to get back on the winning ways.

Wygant K's 12 against Hancock

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
MENIFEE (2-14-15) — The Griffins had an undefeated day at the Mt. San Jacinto tournament, going 1-0-1.

In the first game AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT threw a great game as she went the distance in the 2-2 tie (called due to time limit) against California ranked 14th Allan Hancock. In the game Wygant struck out 12 batters. Grossmont led the game off with a pair of runs scored off of a triple BRIANA STRANDBERG and a double from AMANDA HARTNET.

The second game of the day saw the Grossmont bats get blazing hot. Against Napa, who are tied for ninth in the latest NorCal rankings, GC won 9-1. The Griffins registered 15 hits in the blowout.

The schedule for Saturday features games against Chaffey and Fullerton in Menifee. Fullerton is currently ranked eighth in SoCal.

Griffins get big hits in Downtown

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
SAN DIEGO (2-12-15) — Grossmont College got back to their winning ways, defeating San Diego City College 5-3 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday (Feb. 11).

MELISSA EGGLESTON got things rolling with a walk. On a sacrifice bunt by KAYLA BROWNING, Eggleston moved over to third. Then came the big guns. AMANDA HARTNET hit a double to left field to bring in Eggleston. The hot hitting BRIANA STRANDBERG laced a triple to right center field to bring Hartnet in. AMANDA “AJ” WYGANT beat out a groundball to short to bring in Strandberg.

“Briana is continuing to swing a hot bat,” Griffins coach DOUG HARTUNG said. “She is a real bright spot in the lineup. We hit well for the fourth straight game, I’m really happy with our swings.”

The Green and Gold scored insurance runs in both the third and fifth innings. Heading into the bottom of the seventh it was Grossmont 5-0.

NICOLE BALINGER was cruising through six innings. In those six innings Balinger allowed just three hits and struck out a pair. In the seventh, Nicole had a couple of pitches catch a little too much of the plate and allowed three runs.

The Griffins will step out of PCAC play for Mt. San Jacinto’s tournament this weekend.

Balinger and the Griffins have a good weekend

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (2-8-15) — The Grossmont College softball team took two out of three this weekend from three different opponents to get their first two wins of the year.

El Camino 4, Grossmont 8 — Friday’s (Feb. 6) game against El Camino saw the Warriors jump out on top with three runs in the first inning. From there on, NICOLE BALINGER settled down and allowed only a single tally in the fifth.

“The bats were working pretty good,” Grossmont head coach DOUG HARTUNG said. “We took advantage of some miscues that El Camino made.”

Sophomore KAYLA BROWNING led the offensive blitz going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Browning also had a great day behind the plate. She threw out three attempted steals and had the putouts on Balinger’s four strike outs.

Freshman ARISA ROSADO collected a pair of hits in three attempts and collected an RBI. Balinger also did it at the plate as she invoked softball (and baseball) cliché number three “helped her own cause” with two hits and knocked in a pair of runs as well.

Designated player AMANDA WYGANT arguably had the best day at the plate. She had two hits in four official trips to the plate, with three runs scored and a run batted in. But both of those hits were for doubles.

College of the Desert 1, Grossmont 8 — In Friday’s (Feb. 6) nightcap, Grossmont jumped out in the top of the first with three runs and never looked back. They posted picket fences in the second and third innings as well.

“Nicole pitched a great game,” Hartung said. Great game might be an understatement. Seven innings of four hit ball with no walks and four strike outs will get quite a few wins.

Balinger also continued her great day at the plate leading the team by going 2-for-3 with a run and a run batted in.

Infielder Amanda Hartnet captured a pair of hits in the contest as well.

Cerritos 9, Grossmont 5 — On Saturday (Feb. 7) the Griffins (2-5) and Falcons of Cerritos were locked into a close battle through five innings.

GC pushed one across in the bottom of the first, only to see Cerritos score to tie the game up in the top of the third. The Green and Gold knocked in the go-ahead run for the second time in the fourth.

The Falcons put a two spot up on the top of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. The Griffins thought no problem as they tied it up in the bottom of the inning.

Cerritos exploded in the sixth with five runs to take an 8-3 lead. The Falcons tacked on one more run in the seventh, before Grossmont put two up in the bottom of the final inning.

“We put together 12 hits against them,” coach Hartung said. “We were swinging the bats well. I’m really encouraged with our offense.”

Hartnet and Amanda “AJ” Wygant both paced the Griffin offense with three hits and one RBI each. Freshman centerfielder BRIANA STRANDBERG had a pair of hits and brought in two runs.

The Griffins open Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play Wednesday (Feb. 11) downtown against San Diego City.

Offense needs to get in gear

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
ORANGE (2-4-15) — Four games into the 2015 season and the Grossmont College Griffins have taken on some of the best in Southern California. The latest tough test was the preseason third-ranked Santiago Canyon Hawks. The Hawks got their fourth win of the young season on Tuesday (Feb. 3) in an 8-0 mercy-rule five inning victory.

The first four innings of the game against Santiago Canyon (4-0) things were not that bad. At the end of that section it was just 3-0 lead for the Hawks. Then came the bottom of the fifth. That is when the wheels came off for Grossmont College. MELISSA EGGLESTON, AMANDA HARTNET, ANGELA ACKERMAN and ARISA ROSADO all reached safely with hits.

"We were competitive until the bottom of the fifth," Griffin head coach DOUG HARTUNG said. "That is when the Hawks offense came alive. We really need to energize our own offense, and soon."

Friday (Feb. 6) will see the Griffins open their home schedule with a three-way between El Camino and College of the Desert. Grossmont and El Camino will play at 11:00 a.m. El Camino will take on Desert at 1:00 p.m. and Desert will stay on the field, for their game against the Griffins at 3:00.

Rain wins day one of the Best on Grass

© East County Sports.com
PALM DESERT (1-31-15) — The Best on Grass tournament being hosted by College of the Desert was rained out for day one of the tournament.

Providing the weather clears up, the Griffins will take on the field on day two.

Strandberg makes a mark in collegiate debut

By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com
MISSION VIEJO (1-29-15) — The Grossmont College Softball team was pushed to extra innings before falling to Saddleback 6-5 in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday (Jan. 28).

Sophomore KAYLA BROWNING went 3-for-4 in the contest including a run scored.

Newcomer BRIANA STRANDBERG got off to a slow start as she popped up to third and then flew out to left. However, her final two at bats of the day she looked like a grizzled veteran with back-to-back doubles, first in the sixth. Then a bases clearing double in the top of the seventh to give Grossmont a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, NICOLE BALINGER (0-1) would love to have a pitch back as she gave up a game-tying home run. However, she bounced back and got three outs to get the game into extras.

Saddleback scratched and clawed their way to pushing a run across to end the night.

The Griffins will now go out to Palm Desert to compete in the Desert Showdown tournament this weekend.




Overall Record: 17-18-1, 11-7 PCAC
Date Opponent    Score 
a-Best on Grass (Desert)
b-Mt. San Jacinto Tournament (Menifee)
*Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game
All Times are P.M., unless noted
Jan. 28 Saddleback
5-6 (8)   B
Jan. 30 a-Sacramento
a-Allan Hancock
Jan. 31 a-Porterville
4-7 B
2-5 B
Feb. 3 at Santiago Canyon
0-8 (5) B
8-4 B
5-1 B
5-9 B
Feb. 11 *at San Diego City
5-3 B
Feb. 13 b-Allan Hancock
2-2 B
9-1 B
Feb. 14 b-Chaffey
10-2 B
4-10 B
Feb. 18 *PALOMAR
3-5 B
Feb. 20 *at Imperial Valley
3-2 B
Feb. 25 *at Mt. San Jacinto
10-0 B
0-1 B
Feb. 28 at LA Harbor
Mar. 4 *at Southwestern
3-2 B
4-2 B
Mar. 7 at Cypress
3-4 B
2-7 B
Mar. 10 at Santa Ana
1-5 B
Mar.13 *at Palomar
4-2 B
Mar. 20 *at Mt. San Jacinto
1-2 (8 Inn.) B
Mar. 21 at Chaffey
6-10 B
Mar. 25 *at San Diego Mesa
6-2 B
1-2 B
Apr. 1 *at San Diego
4-3 B
Apr. 3 *at Imperial Valley
9-5 (8 Inn.) B
0-5 B
Apr. 11 CITRUS
2-9 B
5-3 B
2-1 B
Apr. 18 at LA Harbor
8-0 B
Apr. 21 *at Southwestern
4-2 B
May 1-3 So Cal Regionals
May 8-10 Super Regionals


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