Alyssa Guzman was only trying for a base hit.
The Cal State Stanislaus softball center fielder came through with a three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning Saturday to beat Cal State San Bernardino 4-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship title game.
"I couldn't run around the bases fast enough to get back to my teammates," Guzman said. "I sprinted around the bases and the girls tackled me. I felt dizzy from all the screaming in my ears. It felt like a dream. Every little girl dreams of doing that."
It was Guzman's second homer in as many days, earning the Warriors (30-21) an automatic berth into the Division II West Region Championship Tournament, which begins Wednesday at Humboldt State in Arcata.
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Stanislaus is the defending West Region champion. Familiarity with the Humboldt softball field, and Stanislaus' recent strong play, could work in the Warriors' favor.
After routing San Bernardino and Monterey Bay to advance to the title game, Stanislaus couldn't mount much of an offensive attack Saturday. Three San Bernardino pitchers kept the Warriors from scoring after Casey Stephenson homered in the second to put Stanislaus ahead 1-0.
The Coyotes answered in the third when Priscilla Curiel's single off Jen Arnold drove in Debbie Shisler, who had singled and advanced on a walk. Arnold allowed five hits in four innings, stranding five runners.
Gaumnitz expected to pitch three innings of relief. Required to stay in a little longer, the junior gave up just one hit in seven innings, striking out five, against the CCAA's top-ranked offense.
"She got better as she went," Stanislaus coach Jan Schefkowitz said. "If you make a mistake against San Bernardino, they'll make you pay. To hold them to one hit is incredible."
Gaumnitz was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
She was on first base when Guzman came to the plate in the bottom of the 11th. Kimiko Wright led off with a single off Tawni Baker and advanced on Meghan Franksen's sacrifice bunt. As the flex player, Gaumnitz went in to run for Stephenson, who'd drawn a walk. Baker, who pitched five innings, was then relieved by starter Cassidy Lee.
Gaumnitz said she knew Guzman had hit safely and that Wright would score to secure the Warriors win, but she didn't know Guzman had sent the pitch from Lee over the left-field fence until she rounded second.
She got to experience the celebratory dogpile at the plate, too.
"It was pretty cool," Gaumnitz said.
Wright, Franksen, Jessica Scholl and Alicia Reid were also named to the all-tournament team.