YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - The road to a state final was on the line Thursday for two local teams on historic runs - but at the end of the day only one would come out still alive.
In a masterful pitching performance from Kalli Strahm, the Holtville Lady Vikings blanked Boron in a 6-0 to clinch their spot in the CIF SoCal Division IV Final on Saturday.
The Vikings only mustered up four hits on the day, but used their lethal base running tactics and capitalized on mistakes to build a lead late with a four-run 6th inning. The rest was history as Strahm tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout - coming up just one play away from a perfect game.
On the other side of the bracket, the fairytale finish for the Imperial Lady Tigers was not quite in the cards - falling to top seed Santa Paula 5-2. The Tigers held a 2-1 lead into the 5th before surrendering the lead.
The future remains bright for the Tigers though, who captured a Desert League and CIF title with no seniors on the roster.
Meanwhile, circling back to Holtville from Wednesday afternoon - alongside Kalli Strahm and Kamryn Walker - sat Melanie Herrera who also signed her way to the college level.
While known for wrestling, Herrera signed with McKendree University to play rugby. A chance from their coach after realizing her success on the mat in a physical sport.
Herrera took the mat for the first time in just her junior year at Holtville before she moved to the Phoenix area where she came up just one spot short of placing in state tournament. Then she came back to Holtville to graduate at the place her wrestling journey began.
"It feels very unreal. I never would have expected myself to get to here," said Herrera. "I'm really proud and grateful that I'm able to graduate here because that's where I started my wrestling career here."