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Armani Garcia's dominant run at Santa Ynez was cut short due to pandemic
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Armani Garcia's dominant run at Santa Ynez was cut short due to pandemic

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There was only one choice for Santa Ynez High School senior Armani Garcia as far as where she wanted to continue her education.

“Cal State Monterey Bay is the school I wanted to go to,” she said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Cal State Monterey Bay is where Garcia will attend eventually.

The school’s size and location were selling points for Garcia, who was aiming to walk on to the CSUMB softball team before the coronavirus pandemic turned everything upside down.

Still, the school “is not too big, and it’s a good college,” said Garcia.

The university is within walking distance of the ocean. “I like the area,” said Garcia.

Garcia was a four-year varsity player at Santa Ynez who made her biggest mark there as a pitcher.

She hopes to do her next pitching for the NCAA Division II Otters.

“I’ve had some contact with their coaching staff,” Garcia said. “I’ve been to a few of their camps. The last time I went there was in late January,” before the start of Garcia’s truncated senior season at Santa Ynez.

The last sports event on the Central Coast took place on March 13. There have been no team workouts since because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CIF State office formally announced the cancellation of all post-season spring sports events on April 3 and said at that time it did not see a way for the season to move forward.

It did not. Santa Ynez, which Armani Garcia’s father, Benny Garcia, coaches, was sitting at 5-1 when everything was called off because of the pandemic.

Armani Garcia was 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA as a pitcher at the time. She was also hitting .444.

Garcia was 13-0 with a 1.72 ERA her junior year. She hit .329.

As a freshman, Armani Garcia helped lead the Pirates to the CIF Southern Section divisional final, where they lost 7-4 to Sun Valley Village Christian. She was 14-4 with a 2.28 ERA and hit .337 that year.

In Garcia’s sophomore year, the Pirates went out in the semifinals in veteran Denicia Gills’ last year as coach. Garcia went 2-3 that year, but her ERA was 1.71.

As for solo workouts for the time being, “I’ve been able to hit and pitch at a batting cage at home,” Garcia said.

Garcia didn't like the online method of schooling to close out her high school academic career, “I personally would rather be in the classroom,” she said. “Online classes are not that hard to me. I think you learn better in the classroom.”

Garcia had hoped to major in social work at Cal State Monterey Bay. She plans on a career in child protective services.

Cal State Monterey Bay has said its entire fall 2020 semester will be done remotely. 

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