The Fallbrook Girls Softball League 14-and-under all-stars competed in the American Softball Association’s state tournament July 13-15 in Lancaster, winning two games while losing two.
“We did really well,” said Fallbrook coach Gary George. “The girls just played phenomenal.”
The top two teams from the district playoffs qualified for the state tournament, and Fallbrook finished second in the district competition June 30 and July 1 at Hickman Fields in San Diego. Fallbrook had a 2-2 record in the double-elimination district tournament, including a win against Rancho San Diego to force a winner-take-all final in which Rancho San Diego prevailed for the district championship.
Fallbrook had twelve players at the district tournament, but due to schedule conflicts only nine girls traveled to the state tournament. “I think we were the only team that only had nine,” George said. “We had no substitutions, we had no courtesy runners.”
Fallbrook opened the state tournament July 13 with an 8-2 loss to Whittier. “It was closer than the score actually shows,” George said.
“The next day we came back and we beat a couple of really good teams,” George said.
Fallbrook’s first July 14 game was against Upland, which won its district. “They were a real tough team,” George said.
Upland scored once in the first and once in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead. Fallbrook scored its first run in the bottom of the third and added two runs in the fifth for an eventual 3-2 victory. “It was a battle,” George said.
“We had some real good defense and had some real good pitching,” George said. “The last four innings the girls were unbelievably solid.”
In four different innings Fallbrook’s pitching and defense retired all three Upland batters. The state tournament games lasted seven innings or 90 minutes, and the quick innings allowed all seven innings to be played.
Fallbrook also played seven innings in its 3-1 win July 14 against Norco.
“It was another close game,” George said.
Fallbrook also retired the side four times against Norco, including the bottom of the seventh inning to close out the game. Fallbrook scored the game’s first run in the top of the first and Norco evened the score in the bottom of the sixth inning. Fallbrook then scored twice in the seventh to take the lead before retiring the final three Norco batters.
Fallbrook’s third July 14 game was against San Juan Capistrano, which eliminated Fallbrook with a 13-5 victory. “It was tough playing three games in that kind of heat,” George said.
“The girls worked really, really hard and when they came to state they were ready to play,” George said. “They just played their hearts out. I couldn’t be any happier.”
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