CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad 12-and-under Vendetta All-Star softball team pulled off the best-ever finish for a city team at the Amateur Softball Association Western National Tournament last weekend.
Carlsbad finished second, losing to Bonita Valley in the winner-take-all second game of the championship series on Saturday.
The Vendetta finished the tournament with a 7-2 record.
Rival Escondido, meanwhile tied for fifth with Thousand Oaks with a 4-2 record.
“They were incredibly resilient,” Carlsbad coach Jeff Jarrard said of his club. “They never think they are going to lose.”
The Vendetta opened the tournament in pool play with wins over Elk Grove and Escondido before nipping Goleta, 3-2, in the first round of the double-elimination tournament, Jarrard said.
The Vendetta then dropped Fountain Valley in the quarterfinals before falling to West Valley (West Hills), 4-2, on Friday. Fatigue, however, would come into play on Saturday as Carlsbad played five games.
They beat Escondido again, followed by a win over El Rio (Oxnard) and a nail-biting 3-2 comeback victory over West Valley.
In the first game of the championship series, Carlsbad rolled to an 18-5 win over Bonita Valley highlighted by a home run by Taylor Hanson.
However, Bonita Valley slipped past the Vendetta, 7-3, in the final game to claim the title.
“They were pretty tired,” Jarrard said. “They (Bonita Valley) came out and got us right off the bat. The last inning of the championship game, we had base runners on.”
The coach said pitchers Samantha Ruiz, London Jarrard and Julissa Garcia were dominate in the circle allowing no more than 16 runs total in nine games. In addition, Brianna Shea was a “vacuum” at third base, the coach added.
The experience, meanwhile, was a great one, Jeff Jarrard said, noting the girls witnessed their first sandstorm and flash flood warnings.
Nevertheless, it was team Vendetta that were the ones creating havoc on the field as they claimed second place. They finished the season with a 45-4-1 record.
“There are no superstars on the team,” Jarrard said. “There are a bunch of girls who are really good.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.