One-woman pitching staff carrying DVC Vikings softball


Aaron Tolentino

Sita Manoa before a softball practice at Diablo Valley College on Feb. 22, 2018.

Aaron Tolentino, Sports editor

Diablo Valley College softball pitcher Sita Manoa, earlier this season, once pitched a total of 17 innings in one day, winning both games in a doubleheader against San Jose City College.

It’s hard enough for professional pitchers to pitch nine innings in one game. For Manoa to almost double that in one day is absolutely sensational.

The aforementioned performance perfectly exemplifies what Manoa is all about.

The sophomore is the only listed pitcher on DVC’s roster and has pitched every inning in all 14 games for the team this season.

Not only is Manoa surviving as the lone pitcher on the team, she is actually thriving with her workload. She currently leads all California community college softball pitchers in innings pitched at 86 2/3 and ranks second in wins at 10.

“She’s carried us,” said head coach Dennis Luquet. “She’s a competitor. She competes the whole time. She doesn’t give in. She throws a lot of strikes. She makes people hit the ball (and) gives her defense a chance to make plays.”

It’s no secret that asking one player to carry the workload of a pitching staff that would normally run four or five pitchers deep can potentially be overwhelming.

But to Manoa, softball is still a team game and she relies on her teammates just as much as they rely on her.

“My team (motivates) me,” said Manoa on how to find that motivation that pushes her through long outings on the mound. “They’re out there just as much as I am, so they’re putting in the work, I gotta put in the work too.”

Center fielder Julia Kiester sees every day how Manoa excels in the art of pitching and how Manoa is an invaluable part of the team.

“She’s right there to get the pitch where she needs to be and she hits her corners,” said Kiester. “If we didn’t have that pitching she brings us and her attitude, we would not be where we are right now.”

However, the success Manoa and the 10-4 Vikings have enjoyed so far starts in practice. This is where Manoa exhibits her abilities as a leader.

“She holds the team up,” said Kiester. “Even though we’ll mess up in practice, she’ll be right there. She’s always cheering everybody on.”

The concern for pitchers throwing too many innings is usually how taxing it can be on the arm, but Manoa views this challenge a bit differently.

“It’s actually not that bad (physically),” said Manoa. “It’s more of a mental game for me knowing that I can do it, preparing myself mentally and then going into the game knowing I can do that.”

What makes Manoa’s feats even more remarkable is this is her second consecutive year as the lone pitcher for the Vikings.

This season’s 17 inning day was no fluke. Last year, she incredibly took the Vikings all the way to Super Regionals, pitching every inning but one.

A humble Manoa will constantly try to downplay her amazing individual feats by giving credit to her teammates, and rightfully so, but her accomplishments in two seasons in a Viking’s uniform are simply something to be in awe of.