LA Daily News
IRVINE >> The pop-up was sky-high.
All third baseman Mackenzie Hofmann had to do was squeeze it to lock up
Village Christian’s first CIF Southern Section softball crown since 2003.
“My life flashed before my eyes,” Hofmann said. “I was
thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, so many things could go wrong.
“But when I caught it, it was insane.”
Hofmann thrust her arms into the air after hauling in the mile-high pop-up
to seal Village Christian’s 7-4 comeback victory over Santa Ynez
in the CIF-SS Division 7 final Friday afternoon at Deanna Manning Stadium
at Bill Barber Park.
Village Christian used three homers to back a strong performance from pitcher
Not bad for a team that started six freshmen and one sophomore.
“We’ll be here for awhile — hopefully,” Melgar said.
Hofmann was instantly mobbed by her teammates after her catch in a lively
They proudly accepted their CIF championship plaque and patches. They took
pictures under the center-field scoreboard. And they proudly donned their
Coach Flo Galindo boasted a roster of just 10 players and somehow navigated
through early season struggles and injuries.
“The girls did such a great job. I’m so happy with how they
came together and finished,” Galindo said. “In the middle
of the year, we had some doubts because we didn’t have that many
girls, but they came together. It’s a pretty great accomplishment,
and I’m excited about the future.”
Village Christian answered immediately after Santa Ynez took a 2-0 lead
in the top of the first inning with back-to-back jacks by Kaylani Miller
and Melgar to flip momentum and take a 3-2 lead.
“We had a lot of energy and it started coming together at that point,”
Melgar slow-trotted around the bases on her solo homer
“I was feeling it,” Melgar said..
Melgar settled down after committing three illegal pitches and yielding
four runs in the first two innings, shutting out Santa Ynez for the final
“It was a different kind of momentum,” said Melgar, who wore
a visor signed by former U.S. national team member Jennie Finch. “Some
of it was my fault with the illegal pitches, so I was definitely working
hard to make up for it.”
Catcher Bella Orozco, who had three hits, said Melgar was locked in.
“She was pitching good,” Orozco said. “She had a good
working riseball and her screw was working real good.
“The thing about this team is that we build on each other.”
Trailing 4-3 in the fifth inning, Hofmann provided a major lift with a
laser toward center field that just cleared the wall, giving Village Christian
a 5-4 lead.
“I was so pumped rounding the bases,” Hofmann said.
Village Christian added key insurance runs on sacrifice flies by Ella Benward
and Carley Gay for a 7-4 lead in the sixth.
“We’re a super young team, and we’re just super grateful
to be in this position,” Gay said.