SAN MARCOS (7-17-2018) / UPDATED 7/20/2018 -- Palomar's Alicia Garcia, the California Community College Athletic Association Fast-Pitch Softball Pitcher of the Year, is moving on to the NCAA Division I level after signing with San Diego State University, Aztecs head coach Kathy Van Wyk has announced.
Garcia went 27-1 with a microscopic 1.15 ERA in the circle during the recently-completed 2018 season for Palomar head coach Lacey Craft, who came out of Palomar to star for the Aztecs from 2003 through 2005.
She struck out 184 batters in 146 innings while starting 29 of her 30 appearances in the circle for Palomar as the Comets finished as runners-up in the CCCAA State Tournament, eventually losing 5-4 to Mt. SAC in the championship game.
Garcia, who pitched in high school for Mira Mesa and spent her freshman season at Tyler (Texas) Community College before transferring to Palomar, also batted .405 (62-for-153) for the Cojmets with two home runs, 36 RBIs and 44 runs scored. The 2018 Comets went 41-5.
Garcia, the cousin of UCLA's National Division I Player of the Year and USA National Team pitcher Rachel Garcia, appears to be the obvious ace of three transfer pitchers for the Aztecs, who need immediate help after going 20-31 last season and finishing in sixth place in the Mountain West Conference.
The other two are both transfers from Division I schools that advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
M.J. James (Patrick Henry High School / Ohio State) played one season for Ohio State before red-shirting in 2018 because she was the No. 5 pitcher on the Buckeyes' roster.
Hannah Johnson saw limited duty for Cal State Fullerton, pitching 21 2/3 innings in 13 games with a 1-4 win-loss record and a 9.69 ERA for the Big West Conference champion Titans, who were eliminated by national third-seeded UCLA in the Los Angeles Regional final.