It was the Falcons’ (12-5, 5-1 Central California Athletic Alliance) third matchup this year against the Eagles (22-2, 5-1 CCAA) after the teams split their league games to become co-champions of the CCAA regular season. Elliot’s win on Saturday makes it the Eagles’ fifth consecutive Division VII title. Millennium lost to Elliot in the championship game last year, 11-3.
Even with Saturday’s loss, the Falcons can count the 2012 season, and a share of this year’s league title, as another step forward for the team.
“We had a great season and we had a lot of accomplishments,” junior center fielder Breana Reyes said. “Our freshmen were awesome this year and next year we’ll come out stronger, and we’ll definitely be in the championship next year.”
Senior shortstop Jaylyn Gutierrez said the biggest difference this year was the team’s new head coach Maegan Lunn
“She believes in us and she’s believed in us since day one,” Gutierrez said, adding that Lunn’s emphasis on team unity paid off. “We all stepped up when we needed to. We’re a family and we needed to be that way from beginning to end.”
Lunn said that if everyone on the roster takes responsibility for the team’s success, then the Falcons will be on their way to accomplishing future goals.
“The one object of the year was coming together as a unit,” she said. “Off the bench, to the field, hitting, everything, all of the girls came together. That’s what got us here.”
She added that Saturday’s game came down to hitting.
“The girls played great defense,” Lunn said. “They stepped up. We were able to get here and it just didn’t fall on our side.”
The Eagles opened with two doubles and a single in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead, but then reached base just once during the next three innings. Catcher Gabrielle Ramirez threw that runner out trying to steal second to end the top half of the fourth inning.
The Falcons got three hits for the day, including a single for Melissa Vierra in the fourth. Shyan Carpenter got a base hit in the fifth but was thrown out at second trying to stretch that hit into a double, and Breana Reyes doubled in the sixth.
Elliot had four hits in the sixth inning to score four runs. With a runner on first, Millennium ended the inning on a double play when Gutierrez grabbed a line drive and threw the Elliot runner out at first after the runner left the base early.
Elliot scored two more on two base hits in the seventh.
Falcon pitcher Vierra gave up 10 hits over seven innings and gave up five earned runs.