The top of the seventh inning of the title game Saturday, May 18, at Arnaiz Fields in Stockton, would be her toughest challenge yet this year.
The Falcons (16-6) were ahead 11-10, but the Elliot Christian Eagles (14-9) of Lodi — five-time defending division champions — had already collected 14 base hits over six innings.
“The last inning my heart was in my throat, it was so nerve-wracking,” Wise said. “I was nervous playing this game but I knew we would be able to pull through.”
She built up her confidence with two strikeouts and stayed focused after the Eagles got two base hits. Sophomore shortstop Riquel Rivera scooped up a grounder on the next play and tossed it to junior second baseman Ericka Dominquez for the final out.
Falcon coach Maegan Lunn said the Millennium players did just as she told them.
“With Elliot we always face a great hitting team. I told them to slow it down, one pitch at a time, one out at a time, one at-bat at a time,” she said. “They stuck with their game and never changed it.”
Elliot had a 7-1 lead in the third inning before Millennium sophomores Ashley Grajeda and Rivera singled and freshman Alex Ramirez tripled to highlight a four-run rally.
Teams traded the lead in the fourth as Elliot scored another and the Falcons scored three. Millennium took the lead with a three-run fifth inning, which included junior outfielder Gabrielle Ramirez’ two-out RBI single to put the Falcons up 11-10.
Elliot totaled 16 hits and the Falcons bashed out 13 hits, including a triple, a double and a single for senior Breana Reyes. Grajeda had three hits, Alex Ramirez also doubled, and freshman Jayda Jenkins tripled.
Reyes said that she and her team brought confidence to the plate, knowing that the Falcons had already won the 2013 CCAA title by beating Elliot Christian twice in league play.
“All three years we’ve been to the section championship, and we’ve lost the last two times but this time we came out strong and we definitely deserve this win,” Reyes said. “It’s the biggest game of the whole year, and I’m really proud of what the team did.”
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.