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Del Oro alum Merjano, No. 1 Concordia seeking NAIA Softball National Championship title

Auburn native, Sierra College grad has 8 homers on the year for 48-3 Eagles
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Annette Merjano likes her team’s chances.

After compiling a 48-3 record, who wouldn’t?

The 2010 Del Oro High School alumna Merjano and her top-seeded Concordia University softball team are seeking the school’s first NAIA Softball National Championship title this weekend.

The tournament kicks off Saturday in Columbus, Ga., for Concordia, which has a first-round bye.

“We have a really good chance,” said Merjano, the 2012 California Junior College Catcher of the Year, who has been playing first base for the Eagles of Irvine. “I day dream about dog-piling everyday — like once we win. Everybody feels this is the year. Everybody has a great feeling.”

Two of Concordia’s losses this year were by one run, the other a two-run defeat. One even came in extra innings.

Merjano, a junior who is batting .325 on the season and has eight homers, believes her squad has been successful because it doesn’t depend on any one player for offensive production.

“It’s amazing,” the Auburn native said. “We just hit really well and we didn’t have to rely on one person or three people. Everyone would hit and we relied on each other not just one person.”

Merjano, who played at Sierra College the past two years, credits Concordia coach Crystal Rosenthal for helping perfect her hitting.

Merjano is hoping to crush some long balls during the championships for her grandmother, Angela Merjano, who can’t make the trek to the southeast. Angela asked her granddaughter to knock some pitches out of the park for grandma. 

Father Anthony and mother Mary Merjano, however, will be traveling from California out to the games.

“I’m amazed and thank them,” Merjano said of her parents attending the tourney. “I’m so grateful they make it to every game even if it’s eight hours away. I love them for that.”

Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel