May 23, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Pola sisters hope to lead No. 2 seeded Godinez softball team into CIF finals this weekend

Savannah Pola (left) and her sister Keana Pola with Godinez Coach Edward Medina after Thursday’s victory. (Photos courtesy Harrison Zhang, For OC Sports Zone)

Godinez High’s No. 2 seeded softball team is just one win away from reaching the CIF finals for the first time and is counting on two sisters, senior shortstop Keana Pola and sophomore second baseman Savannah Pola.

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The Grizziles (24-4) are on the road Tuesday to face Culver City (21-10) in the CIF Division 4 semifinals and are hoping to advance into this weekend’s finals against the winner of the other semifinal between El Segundo and Sultana.

Godinez Coach Edward Medina stresses that the team has gotten as far as it has because of the contributions of all 14 players, who have all been playing together for many years.

“We just happened to get a get a great group of girls, all from Santa Ana and all went to school here so that’s a big plus for us,” said Medina, who has been the coach since the program began 12 years ago. “They all grew up together and they knew each other through travel ball.”

The two sisters, Keana Pola, who is headed for Nebraska and Savannah Pola, who has committed to UCLA, have been among the leaders.

The duo led the offensive charge Thursday in the Grizzlies’ 5-0 victory over Maranatha in the quarterfinals.

The two sisters have been playing together on various teams since they were 4 years old.

Both sisters say all the players are close and the team chemistry has been instrumental in its success.

“We work together, we have a special bond,” Savannah Pola said. “We’ve known each other for a long time and when we work together as a team, we get the job done.”

The players who were on the team that reached the semifinals two years ago are excited to have another opportunity to advance to the finals.

“We were here sophomore year so I’m glad we have another shot at the semifinals and hopefully we get it done this time,” Keana Pola said. “(The goal) was to win the whole thing hopefully.”

Medina, the coach, said the players and the assistant coaches have all stepped up time and time again and he hopes the Grizzlies get a chance to play in the finals at Bill Barber Park in Irvine.

“I am happy because of the situation I’m in,” he said. “This year, we’re hoping to get there. That would be such an amazing thing for this school.”

After Godinez won its quarterfinal round game, Medina pointed out how excited he was with the team’s success.

“I’m living the dream,” he said. “Tonight, I’m going to go home and get on my knees and thank God, because it’s definitely been a great season so far.”

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-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;