FAIRFIELD — Who would have thought that being named the No. 2 seed in Northern California would be the worst news of the day.
The Solano Community College softball team was given a few top honors to go along with a No. 2 seed in the Northern California Regional, Saturday.
At the California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association state meeting, not only did the Falcons find out their seeding, but also that third baseman Aleyna Benipayo was named the Northern California Player of the Year.
That was not the only top honor SCC took home as Shannon Mestas was named the Northern California Pitcher of the Year.
“I was really happy finding out we swept those awards,” Falcons coach Terri Pearson-Bloom said. “It’s rare for one school to get both of the prestigious awards. It was nice to see them recognized, especially from the other coaches in the area.”
According to cccaasports.org, Benipayo is third in the state in batting average (.552) and stolen bases (33), coming in at fourth in RBIs (53).
“Benipayo has developed all aspects of her offense,” Pearson-Bloom said. “She can slap it, and she can jack out a home run. All of her home runs have been slaps. She has a complete game, offensively. You can’t defend her.”
Mestas has proven over the season that not much can be done against her, either. Mestas is fourth in the state in earned run average (1.13) and wins (21), while ranking fifth in strikeouts (172). She ended the regular season throwing four shutouts.
“(Mestas) has a full arsenal,” Pearson-Bloom said. “She can change up her game constantly, making it difficult for opposing teams to focus on any one pitch. . . . She is a great all-around player. She would be starting even if she wasn’t on the mound.”
Other SCC players were honored at the CCCFCA meeting as shortstop Britney Taglieri was named to the All-State team, while outfielder Emily Goode and second baseman Stefanie Chainurux were named to the All-NorCal team.
Pearson-Bloom paired Goode and Chainurux as a package when speaking about them as she referenced “they” many times.
“They are not flashy. They don’t hit big-giant home runs but they are consistent,” the coach said. “They come through in every situation. They’re interchangeable.”
About the No. 2 seeding, Pearson-Bloom said she was happy with the placement.
“Our biggest focus was top-two. Sure, I was disappointed that we didn’t get the one seed, but as long as we were hosting the first round, I’m happy with it.”
Solano hosts No. 15 seeded Butte College in a best-of-three series in the regional round one. The Falcons’ first game is Saturday at 2 p.m., while the second game is Sunday at noon, with a third game to follow, if necessary.
“It’s a huge advantage not having to travel and stay in a hotel,” Pearson-Bloom said. “It’s also a great opportunity to showcase the program to the entire community and especially the younger softball community (travel ball and high schools).”
Should Solano prevail against Butte, it would host in the second round as well.