May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Godinez Grizzlies made history by winning first CIF softball title for school and district

Godinez High’s softball team was honored in May 2019 during a school assembly. (File photo Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

Godinez High’s softball team capped an historic season a year ago, capturing the CIF Division 4 title. It was the first CIF softball title for the school and the first for a Santa Ana Unified School district squad.

The Grizzlies defeated El Segundo 15-1 in the title game on Saturday, May 18 at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

“It’s exciting for the school, the city of Santa Ana and the great thing about it, our top half of the lineup struggled today and our bottom half picked us up, all with two outs,” Medina said after the game.

Starting pitcher Natalie Carlos went the distance, allowing five hits and striking out five. Carlos (17-1) was supported by a 12-hit attack.

“It was crazy, I’m just so proud of my team,” said Carlos. “I couldn’t have done it without them. They battled so hard and it’s just a dream come true. We’ve worked for this for a long time.”

Center fielder Andrea Uriarte led the way with five RBI, including a double and a triple.

The team was honored later in the month at a school assembly but the memories would last a lifetime.

“I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by,” Medina said Monday.

“The 2019 softball season was a special one. The season was not only special for our players, coaches and for the entire GFHS community (teachers, staff and administrators) but for the entire city of Santa Ana.

“Winning a CIF title is big in and of itself.  But to be the first (public school) softball team in Santa Ana to ever win a CIF title is history. When I think back on this past season, we had six seniors who worked together for four years to accomplish one goal.  We came up short the previous three years but they did not lose focus.

“They were leaders on the field as well as in our Godinez community.  As incoming freshman, they helped lead our team to our first League championship and continued to go 40-0 in league over the next three years. With their leadership our younger players had excellent examples to look up to.

“They were able to step in and contribute to our team and help us move towards our goal. The 2019 season was one where everything came together.  Our coaching staff prepared our players for every game and every situation.  Our players were ready and executed what was asked of them.  We had a great community of parents, teachers, administrators and students all cheering us on during the regular season and especially in the playoffs. I will always cherish the 2019 season and the journey it took to get there.”

Godinez Athletic Director Lisa Treen said she was proud of the team’s effort.

“What a great high school softball memory for me and for all of us!  One of the best and memorable experiences as an athletic director of many years,” she said. “I can’t say enough about how special and fun last year’s softball season really was for all of us both for Godinez and our Santa Ana community.

“It was also extremely satisfying and exciting to see our Head Coach Ed Medina get that first CIF-SS softball championship for our school and district.  We have known and worked together for many years and you won’t find a better softball coach and person. Ed really cares about his players and has had a positive enduring impact on many softball players over his coaching years in Santa Ana.

“The 2019 Godinez softball team was a truly special group of student-athletes and coaching staff that clicked at the right time during the playoffs.  The majority of the girls had played softball together or against one another while growing up and really shared a special bond that culminated in this huge spotlight and giant win for Godinez.  A team where everyone plays their role to the best of their ability at the same time is a very special thing.  It’s a memory that will not be forgotten by those lucky enough to be a part of and witness the experience.

“High school sports is really about these special individual and team bonds that make those invaluable memories that shape us as people.  There were 6 seniors on the Godinez championship team that helped to build a winning tradition of 4 league championships and ended their high school careers with the first every CIF-SS softball championship for Santa Ana. These girls left behind a group that has been rebuilding their futures as a different team but a team with all of the same dreams.

“Unfortunately we will not know how this past season’s team would have faced that challenge because they were not given the chance due to COVID-19 shutdown.  As is the way with following up a dream team season, we have graduated some more really good senior players to once again find ourselves in a rebuilding position for 2021.  There is no doubt that Godinez softball will rise to the occasion and bring their best once they can get back on the field.  We look forward to what the future brings for those softball athletes awaiting the chance to make their own Godinez dream team memories.”

A LOOK BACK:

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com