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With the 13-3 win, Colton takes second place in PacWest Conference heading into playoffs

PIONEER PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Colton softball bested the Salem Academy Crusaders 13-3 in five innings on Tuesday, May 8 and took second place in league doing so. Colton—Colton softball team picked up its second win over the Salem Academy Crusaders, and in more impressive fashion. In a five inning affair, the Vikings blew out the visiting team 13-3 on Tuesday, May 8.

With the win, Colton moves to 6-3 in the PacWest Conference, and 9-10 overall. Salem Academy loses its ninth straight game, and drops to 1-8 in league play, 2-9 overall. With its convincing victory, the Vikings now sit in third place in their league.

"We're ranked twelfth right now, so this game was important for us to win," Brachis said.

If things play out the way Brachis expects them to, the Colton softball team to meet up with the Blanchet Catholic Cavaliers (13-8 overall, 6-3 in the PacWest Conference) in a rubber match at home. Colton has split two meetings with the Cavaliers, winning the first contest 7-4, and dropping the second game 11-5.

"It's going to be here, we have a little bit better of a core of players, so I think we're in a good spot and have a good opportunity to go to state," Brachis said. "We control our fate, so obviously have to do our job against Gervais and not have a letdown, but we should win that one. You never know with these things."

Indeed, the Vikings finish the season off with a win against the 7-9 Gervais Cougars, winning 15-0. Conversely, the Vikings needed Blanchet to drop their regular season ender to the PacWest's number one team Scio. Scio is on a 19 game winning streak and has firmly locked down first place in league. When it was all said and done, it played out in Colton's favor. Scio dominated Blanchet 14-4.

Despite the impending challenges of the post season, Brachis believes that his team is ready. Despite its overwhelming youth, and the trials early in the season, Brachis believes that his team can compete against anyone.

"I think right now we're at a point where I don't think anyone thinks of themselves as a beginning player," Brachis said. "I think the confidence is much better. We're on the positive side of winning league games, we've been beaten by some tough teams but we've only played tough teams."

Brachis also effused praise for the work ethic of his players. After the game against Salem Academy, sophomore Madison Olsen took to the diamond to get some more practice. According to Brachis, this was exemplary of the team at large.

"That's a good thing with some of these players, they'll take extra balls, and we'll hit them extra," Brachis said. "They'll say, 'I want 15 minutes longer,' and we'll say, 'I think you need 30.' They come back with an hour. That's one of the good things about a lot of these players. They're dedicated, they want to do well. We're coming together, and we're doing well."

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