East County Sports

’22 Hawks mesh experience, youth



ECS staff report

SANTEE —- San Diego Christian College features a former NCAA Division I player as its head coach.

However, while Sarah (Hershman) McGrath may have been a top-flight ballplayer as a second baseman and outfielder for San Diego State and Mt. Carmel High School, she knows what to do with her pitching staff.

“This year we have a very mature pitching staff,” noted McGrath, a multiple-time winner of the athlete of the week in the Western Athletic Conference. “Our (graduate assistant) pitching coach, Christina Washington, has done a great job at getting them ready for the season.”

In other words, by sharing coaching responsibilities, the Hawks seek to dent the Golden State Athletic Conference and gain a first-division finish in one of the nation’s toughest NAIA circuits.

“We have some freshmen that are going to make a big impact on our program,” she added. “I try not to have expectations, but this year I have a special group of girls that make coaching fun and keep me on my toes.”

The women in the circle are led by senior Amaryssa Medina, who registered the victory in half of the Hawks’ victories last season’s COVID-19 abbreviated campaign.

Others seeking starts in the circle feature Angel Valdez, Giselle Mendez, Kaitlyn Bailey, and Julianna Guerra.

Also on the coaching staff is assistant coach Mallory Mitchiner, a former standout at University of Saint Katherine in San Marcos, serving as a catcher and outfielder in 2018.

“Mallory has stepped to the plate for our program in so many ways, on and off the field,” added McGrath.

On offense, junior Alicia Corona (Hilltop HS), the team’s top returning hitter at .309, returns to anchor the batting order. She is joined by senior Hannah Springs, the club’s No. 3 hitter at .302. Both are infielders.

Among the East County players joining the Hawks include Marley Rimoldi (Steele Canyon), who could contend for a starting berth in the outfield.

“God is good and has blessed us in so many ways this year,” McGrath added. “We are anticipating having a great season and look forward to having fun on the field.”

San Diego Christian opens the season at home on Friday, Feb. 4, hosting La Sierra University in a doubleheader. The first pitch is slated for 11 a.m. at Sportsplex USA, located on the north side of the San Diego River from the SDCC campus.


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