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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Hornets slide into state semifinals in a thriller

Fullerton College continues their quest for a state championship, advancing to day 3 in a very tight game with College of San Mateo.
Danielle Rivera
Sophomore outfielder Hailey Garcia diving home to put the Hornets up 3-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning on Friday May 17, 2024.

Fullerton College Hornets defeated the Bulldogs of San Mateo 3-2 in a quarterfinal matchup on day two of the State Tournament Friday afternoon. Freshman pitcher Macy Brandl took the circle after her one inning shut out against Sierra College on day one.

The Hornets (42-5) struggled the first two innings to find a way to put runs on the board in what was a Deja vu moment for the team. Freshman outfielder Milena Mendoza started off the inning with a walk, followed by a groundout by sophomore shortstop Cassidy Hornung that allowed Mendoza to get into scoring position.

Sophomore second baseman and team captain Jordan Elias found herself in another big spot in her second at bat of the game.

“My thought process was to just hit the ball hard and put the ball in play somewhere to make the defense work,” said Elias.

And that she did, as Elias singled to left field, advancing to second on a fielding error, driving in Mendoza to put the first run on the board for the Hornets.

Sophomore outfielder Hailey Garcia was due next and she continued to stay red hot, smoking the ball to center field, scoring Elias to put the Hornets up, 2-0.

At that point, San Mateo elected to take out sophomore pitcher Siona Halwani as there was a sense the Hornets were getting a beat on her pitches.

In came sophomore pitcher Kennedie Magorian to try and shut down the Hornets momentum. Magorian pitched a shutout game against Palomar College on the first day to advance her team into the quarterfinal.

San Mateo (38-7) did not let the bottom of the third inning get to them, as they responded right back in the top of the fourth. The Bulldogs tacked on two runs on three hits in the inning. At this point, both teams were up on the fence, and fans were ecstatic.

As the bottom of the fifth approached, Garcia singled to shortstop, and freshman first baseman Veronica Moore added a sac bunt to advance Garcia to second base with just one out.

Up next in a big pressure moment, sophomore outfielder Alyssa Garcia singled to left field bringing home Garcia. Head coach Marian “Speedy” Mendoza threw up the stop sign at third, but Garcia used her speed to score the eventual game-winning run for Fullerton.

Sophomore pitcher Allyson Funetes took the circle in the 6th inning, and looked to have a sense of calm as she worked through the closing parts of the game.

Until the 7th inning approached and things really came down to the wire, the season looked like it could end with one swing of the bat.

Fuentes walked the second batter with one out and allowed a base hit soon after with two outs, the base hit bounced over the wall for a ground rule double.

With both runners in scoring position, Mendoza came out to try to relieve the nerves for Fuentes as the San Mateo fans roared with chants of “ slow pitcher” to Fuentes.

Fuentes, in a nerve racking situation, was able to pitch to her last batter, making her foul out to first base, ending the game with a save.

The Hornets advanced to the semifinals to take on the No. 1 seed in the north, San Joaquin Delta (40-4), in a highly anticipated matchup. The game will take place on Saturday, May 18, at noon at West Valley College.

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About the Contributor
Quinn Cisneros
Quinn Cisneros, Sports Editor
Quinn Cisneros is a third semester Sports Desk Editor for The Hornet Newspaper.  He is a six-time award winning journalist, including a first place CMA Pinnacle award for Sports Multimedia Story and second place for Sports Investigative Story. His other awards are a Meritorious Award for Enterprise Story/Series for his involvement in a Title IX investigation and honorable mention for Best Game Story from JACC. As a contributor to Around the Hornet in Fall 2023, he received another honorable mention for Audio Podcast and in Spring 2024 as an editor of Around the Hornet, he received third place for Audio Podcast from JACC. His interest in journalism came from his passion of sports. He enjoys watching, playing, and writing about sports. Quinn's end goal in journalism is to become a sports analyst. When not writing he enjoys spending time with his dog.

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