The Los Alamitos High softball team suffered a heartbreaking, 5-4, come-from-behind defeat, when Roosevelt High scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, for a walk-off win in the CIF-SS Division 1 finals, on Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.
Both teams were coming into Saturday night’s match-up with momentum from stellar seasons. The Griffins (24-7), ranked fourth in California, had not lost a game in over a month, while the Mustangs (26-3), ranked number one in California, attempted to improve on a ten-game win streak.
Pricilla Llamas was the starting pitcher for Roosevelt and Juliet Holcomb got Los Al started quickly with a bunt single to lead off the game. Jazzy Santos followed with a double that then drove Holcomb in for the first score of the game. Senior Taylor Johnson rallied with this momentum, hitting a double to increase their early lead to 2-0.
The Mustangs answered in the bottom of the first, after Kaylynn Jones and Ashlee Annett were walked and Kayla Lyon got on base, they were able to cut the lead to 2-1 going into the second inning.
The next three innings saw Los Alamitos’ infield playing tight defense and also included some impressive pitching from both Llamas and Los Alamitos senior Sydney Saldana. The griffins got close to scoring again after Holcomb laced a triple in the top of the third. However, the 2-1 score was static until the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Los Alamitos sophomore Callie Fitzpatrick drove a one-run homer over the left field fence to increase their lead. Then, in the following inning, Johnson stepped up to the plate, hitting a bomb over the center field fence to push the Griffins’ lead to 4-1.
After some great defensive exchanges in the sixth inning, the Griffins found themselves trying to hold off an onslaught of hits in the seventh inning, led by Annett and Alexia Lopez. Kennedy loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, with the Griffins holding a lead at 4-1. Senior Jordan Elias was able to close the gap by hitting a single and driving Annett home, to cut the lead to 4-2.
Bases were still loaded when Junior Emily Carr stepped up to the plate for the most decisive moment of the game. Carr zipped a ground ball through the gaps deep to right field. Lopez, Marissa Morales and Elias all came around to score.
There was a moment of uncertainty after Elias appeared to miss home plate, and several Los Alamitos players scrabbled to attempt to tag Carr out at first. But the umpire ruled the winning run had scored and Roosevelt celebrated their CIF-SS Championship.