For the first time this year, the La Cañada 14U Tournament Team did not lose in the championship game of a tournament. That's because the team fell short of the championship game this weekend, losing to San Bernardino in the semifinals of the 16th Annual Diamond Bar All-Star Tournament.
However, there were silver linings: La Cañada lost to San Bernardino, 7-2, but became the first team to score any runs off the Inland Empire powerhouse, which had outscored its opponents 24-0 in its three previous games. And La Cañada must have softened up San Bernardino because in the finals that team lost to Westlake Agoura Girls Softball (WAGS) Thunder, a team La Cañada had beaten in pool play.
“I'm so proud of these girls,” said La Cañada's 14U manager, Lindsay Monroe. “We did a few different things this weekend, like trying to get some innings for all our pitchers. The important tournament is coming this weekend, the District championships.”
There were plenty of heroes for La Cañada this weekend. In the team's 5-2 victory over Chino on Friday night, Jenna Galper went the distance in the circle, allowing just one hit and striking out six. In a 3-2 win Saturday over eventual tournament champion WAGS Thunder, Annie Monroe delivered a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fourth inning that proved to be the decider. And in a 4-3 quarterfinal victory over La Verne, Kelsey Drange came up big, driving in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out triple in the bottom of the fourth inning.
La Cañada 14U heads to Oxnard this weekend to defend the District championship won by last year's team.
—Submitted by Dave Fisher