May 12, 2016
DVC third baseman Bailey Simmons says she's "really proud" of this team because it's overcome a lot of adversity.
"We just did a really good job of coming through," Simmons said. "We came through for one another, helping each other out, being a team."
The No. 7 seeded Vikings (28-14-1) will next face No. 2 Fresno City (37-5) at 2 p.m. on Friday to open the four-team, three-day double-elimination CCCAA Super Regional at Fresno City.
The winner will face either Sacramento City or San Jose in the semifinals at noon on Saturday, and the loser will fall into an elimination game at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The resilient Vikings have persevered through player departures, a rough finish in the Big 8 and a grinding regional playoff series against Merced, which they took two games to one.
Simmons came through brilliantly against Merced. In addition to playing superb defense, she was 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs in the series-clinching 6-1 win on Sunday afternoon, which followed an 8-2 loss in the second game.
A Pinole Valley High graduate, Simmons used her time wisely after the 8-2 defeat.
She didn't want the season to end just yet.
"I went to the cage right before the game, hit some balls, and just had to tell myself to step up for the team," Simmons recalled. "I think a lot of sophomores actually had it in their hearts to step up, because that could have been the last game that we could have played. I just came ready to play and left it all on the field."
Simmons has team-bests in slugging percentage at .519 and in triples with four. She is No. 2 in hits with 44, and is tied for second in RBIs with 26.
She is heading to Baylor in the fall to continue her education, but will try to walk-on in softball. Simmons will leave the Pleasant Hill campus with fond memories. The Vikings have made history.
"We're all pretty excited because this is the second year in a row that we've been able to go to Super Regionals," she said. "So we plan on trying to make a big step for ourselves, especially since two of the four teams, San Jose and Sacramento, we've seen before."
Indeed, the Vikings beat San Jose 2-1 in eight innings early in the season, and swept a doubleheader against Sacramento City on April 14.
So the they belong on this stage. They've worked hard to get here.