Roosevelt softball team wins Division 1 title with unlikely 7th-inning rally – Press Enterprise

IRVINE — A win for Roosevelt seemed unlikely as he began the bottom of the seventh inning.

But a “team of destiny” made the unlikely happen in the blink of an eye on Saturday.

Roosevelt came within three outs of a second straight loss in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 softball championship game. However, the Mustangs conjured up some magic, scoring four runs during that final frame to pull out a 5-4 win over Los Alamitos before a standing crowd at Barber Park.

Emily Carr cleared the bases with a strong single to right center field to bring home the final three runs and clinch the championship for the first section of the program.

“For me, I just knew I had to focus. I was ahead of the ball the whole game,” said Carr, who delivered a sacrifice fly in the quarterfinals. “I told myself that I should go up and hit the ball between center and right. We don’t need home runs now. I just needed to put one on the right side and luckily that’s what I did.”

Roosevelt (28-3) blew several scoring opportunities throughout the game, leaving 10 runners on base through the first six innings. Luck changed for the Mustangs when they came to bat in the seventh.

Kayla Lyon and Alexia Lopez led off the play with a pair of singles, and then Marissa Morales walked to load the bases with one out. An infield single by Jordan Elias brought home the first run and cut the deficit to 4-2. Carr took the first pitch from Los Alamitos pitcher Sydney Saldana and then threw an outside pitch. Carr’s hit easily scored two runs, and Elias ran a stop sign for the winning run.

“We’ve talked about this being our destiny this season, and I told them to believe it,” Mustangs coach Mike Smith said. “I told you before the last inning that I’ve coached games where I’ve lost eight or nine runs. We were right in the middle of our lineup and they couldn’t stop us for seven innings.”

After the game, Smith fought back a few tears, punched his chest, then pointed two fingers at the sky.

“I think we had some people looking over our shoulders tonight,” said Smith, who became the first coach in CIF Southern Section history to lead three softball programs to titles (also Chino Hills and Chino).

Smith was referring to Sophia Duong, a former Roosevelt softball player who lost her battle with cancer in September 2021, and Steve Harrington, a renowned high school and travel ball coach and one of Smith’s best friends who later died. to suffer a heart attack in November. 2021. The team posed for photos after the game with a banner in memory of Duong and a coach’s bucket bearing Harrington’s name.

The Alamitos (24-8) got off to a fun start Saturday night. Julie Holcomb led off the game with a bunt and scored on a double by Jazzy Santos. Taylor Johnson doubled Santos two batters later. Roosevelt managed to get one of those back in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Lopez.

The score stayed that way until the fifth inning, when Callie Fitzpatrick hit a solo home run down the left field line. Johnson then hit a solo home run straight to center field in the top of the sixth inning.

Roosevelt left the bases loaded in the first inning and two more in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

“Give Los Alamitos a lot of credit for that. They made big plays to get out of trouble,” Smith said.

Roosevelt was on the opposite side last season, losing 3-2 to Esperanza with a hit in the seventh.

“Since the season started, we’ve been talking about redemption,” Lopez said. “We’ve been back before, so we never gave up hope tonight. I just think everyone believed in each other, and that faith got us here.”

Leave a Comment