One swing of the bat was all it took to prevent Beaumont from completing the softball season the way it deserved to.
The Cougars lost, 1-0, to La Canada in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Div. 5 championship game in Irvine on a line drive home run in the third inning -- abruptly ending Beaumont’s dream season.
It was the game of the day, a hotly contested pitcher’s duel and a sharp defensive performance by both teams.
“It was an extremely well played game on sides,” Beaumont Coach Jim Tickemyer said. “La Canada is a very respectful team. It was just a classic softball game played well on both sides.”
La Canada’s Anna Edwards slammed shot over right center to give the Spartans the lead it needed.
“It hurts a little bit knowing that one pitch changed the game, that one swing can change the game,” Beaumont’s Stephanie Tickemyer said. “It sucks because it could have gone either way. That’s the way it goes.”
That one pitch ruined the day for Beaumont pitcher Alyssa Fuimaono. Fuimaono struck out 10 batters and held La Canada hitless after the third inning homer.
“I wish I could get that one pitch back,” Fuimaono said. “We knew she was the big hitter. I had her 0 and 2 and tried to keep her off the plate.”
Fuimaono retired the side each of the last four innings. But the home run pitch will sting for a while.
“It was a curve ball off the plate that didn’t quite get off the plate,” Coach Tickemyer said. “But Alyssa has been unbelievable for us all year long.”
Beaumont, however, won’t likely fall off the softball landscape. The Cougars do lose some talented seniors but this team’s core of underclassmen is talented.
“It would not surprise me if we put another season like this together,” Coach Tickemyer said. “We expect to lose some power but we will gain in consistency and speed. We have some young girls with good mitt on them.”