Wolfpack wins first-ever Southern Section softball title

IRVINE – The Great Oak softball team competed well enough during the regular season to take second place in the Southwestern League. They came in right behind a dominant Division 1 standout in Murrieta Mesa, who fell last week in the semifinal round to Norco. The Wolfpack, who shared the Southwestern League title with Mesa last year, was not going to let their 2023 league performance dictate how their postseason was going to go.

In what is being described as one of the most dominating performances in CIF Southern Section history by a pitcher, Miali Guachino set the tone early on defense for Great Oak. The Wolfpack ace sat down at least two batters every inning she pitched. Overall she allowed just three hits with 18 strikeouts to lead the Wolfpack to an 8-0 victory over Grand Terrace in the Division 2 championship game Saturday, May 20, at Barber Park. It is the first section title in program history for Great Oak.

Great Oak’s Miali Guachino pitches during the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

Adding to her success in the postseason, Guachino tossed a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts in the semifinals last weekend and through their five games in the playoffs reports show that she allowed only one run and 14 hits and sat down 84 batters in her 39 innings of work.

More so, according to MaxPreps, Guachino finished with a 15-4 record this season, a 0.57 ERA and 280 strikeouts in 135 innings. Amazing stats for the junior who is committed to Ole Miss after her high school career is over.

As for their championship shutout, the Wolfpack got things started in the second inning when Ava Galvan drove in one run on a single, but it would be four runs in the fourth inning that gave Great Oak that final boost of confidence to help put the game away. That inning was led by Galvan and Samantha Young, who both knocked in runs for their cause. Guachino then helped her own cause when she tripled in two more runs in the seventh inning. The three hits she allowed from the pitcher’s circle were infield singles.

Great Oak racked up 10 hits in the game with Makyia Taylor, Young, Sydney Smith, and Galvan all having success multiple times. Taylor went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead Great Oak. Selena Zuniga took the loss for Grand Terrace. The righthander surrendered eight runs on 10 hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking one.

Kayleese Beach led Grand Terrace with two hits in three at bats and was the only Titan starter who did not strike out in the final game of the Southern Section championship game.

Both teams, if they choose to accept the invitation, will find out what comes next in their season, along with a handful of others that made the semifinals and finals, as the 2023 CIF State Regional Championship Brackets will be made available the afternoon of Sunday, May 28.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.

JP Raineri
JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.