Murrieta Mesa High softball team ready for CIF finals

Members of the Murrieta Mesa High School softball team celebrate a 3-0 CIF semifinal victory over Fullerton High May 30. Photos courtesy ...

Members of the Murrieta Mesa High School softball team celebrate a 3-0 CIF semifinal victory over Fullerton High May 30.
Photos courtesy of Murrieta Mesa softball Facebook page

For their first season ever in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, the Murrieta Mesa High School softball players aren't doing badly at all.

In fact, the Rams will play Hart High of Newhall Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in the CIF-SS Division 3 championship game at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. It has truly been quite a season for Mesa, which is 23-10 overall heading into the finals.

The Rams, under coach Antonio Romero, started the season by winning nine of their first 10 games. They then finished with a .500 record (5-5) in the Southwestern League, but received excellent competition against the likes of Great Oak and Vista Murrieta, which play in higher divisions. In the playoffs, Mesa beat Temescal Canyon (11-0), Mayfair (8-0), Knight (14-1) and Fullerton (3-0) to reach the finals against a Hart team that is 20-12 this season.

Two of the Rams' top players are freshmen. Lauren Randle, who plays first base and third base, leads the team with a .486 batting average. 4 home runs and 32 RBIs. Infielder Presleigh Pilon is hitting .440 with 3 homers and 14 RBIs.

Then there's junior pitcher Autumn Pease, who is 21-9 on the mound with a 1.28 ERA. She struck out 14 in the semifinal win over Fullerton. As a batter, Pease is hitting .406 with 2 home runs and 26 RBIs.

Saturday's game will be played at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, located at 1 Civic Center Plaza in Irvine.

Lauren Randle hit a walk-off home run in a win over Temecula Valley earlier this season.

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