SAN MARCOS (7-18-2018) -- Coach Lacey Craft's softball team's runner-up finish in the state community college tournament, when the Comets dropped a heart-breaker 5-4 to Mt. SAC in the championship game, lifted Palomar to 14th place in the final National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators' 2017-18 State NATYCAA Cup standings.
The NATYCAA Cup ranks ranks California community colleges' athletic programs according to their finishes in post-season competition.
Thanks in large part to State Community College Player of the Year and state batting leader Sarah Fisher's performance, the Comets' softball finish boosted Palomar to 89 points and a tie for 14th with El Camino College in this year's NATYCAA Cup standings.
Fisher, a 4.0 student, was the leading hitter in the state tournament, taking home the Outstanding Hitter award by batting .613 over five games. On the season, Fisher led the state with a .594 batting average, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 77 runs batted in.
Palomar, which accumulated 89 points, was the only Pacific Coast Athletic Conference college to finish among the top 25 teams in the state in final NATYCAA Cup totals as Mt. SAC, with five state championship teams, won its sixth consecutive Cup title with 175 points, followed by second-place Sierra from Rocklin in Northern California with 153.5 points; third-place San Joaquin Delta from Stockton in Northern California with 149.5 points; fourth-place Orange Coast with 148 points; and fifth-place Fresno City College from Northern California with 144 points.
No PCAC college produced a 2017-18 state championship team, which magnified the Comets' state softball finish in boosting Palomar to its tie for 14th state finish.
Mt. SAC finished third in the nation, behind first-place Iowa Central College and second-place Rowan College Community College at Glougester, Massachusetts, in final standings in the community college division for the Learfield Directors Cup, emblematic of the most successful colleges in the post-season on every college level. Sierra finished seventh in the nation.
Other Learfield Cup winners for 2017-18 were Stanford in NCAA Division I; Cal Baptist in NCAA Division II; Williams College of Williamstown, Massachusetts in NCAA Division III; and Oklahoma City University in the NAIA.