FRESNO — It was pretty easy for Foothill softball coach Brooke Charles to wrap up the season.
After a 7-0 loss to No. 2 Visalia-Central Valley Christian in the Central Section Division VI championship at Margie Wright Diamond at Fresno State on Friday, the Trojans first-year coach knew it was a great experience for her young team, despite the loss stinging a bit.
“(Finishing) second definitely sucks, but we are young and our team is, honestly, much better than the performance we put on today,” Charles said. “I have no doubt that we will be back here.”
This was the first section softball championship appearance for Foothill in program history, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
The fifth-seeded Trojans (15-11) won more games this season than the previous three seasons combined and beat No. 1 seed South, 1-0, in the semifinals on Tuesday to advance.
But against CVC ace Rylie Atherton, the Trojans had no answer at the plate.
Foothill managed just two singles, one by Jasmine Mendoza in the fourth and another by Ari Gutierrez to lead off the top of the seventh.
But that was it against Atherton, who struck out eight and struck out the side in the second.
“I think that we helped her out a bit today,” Charles said. “She’s a great pitcher, but we didn’t do our job up to bat.”
Foothill also had miscues in the field that led to four unearned runs for the Cavaliers.
Gina Dystrak had three RBIs, including a two-run single during a four-run third inning that opened up the seven-run lead for CVC (14-10).
“It’s a lot of fun. We worked really hard to get here,” CVC coach Cindy Atherton, the mother of the pitcher, said. “To see them succeed and to have this much fun doing it is awesome. I am really proud of them.”
The loss for Foothill was compounded for the administration on Friday. Initially, Foothill was informed that the baseball team would have to play the D-VI championship — originally scheduled for Saturday at Fresno State at 4:30 p.m. — would be moved to No. 1 Bishop at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Then cooler heads prevailed and the game has now been moved to 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Bishop, which allows Foothill’s ace Cesar Delgado a chance to pitch in the finals.
It’s also the first title game appearance for the baseball team during a big start to 2019 for Foothill after the boys basketball team won the CIF State D-V title and the boys soccer team won the section D-V title in March.
“This is amazing, I have to tell you. Just to get here is amazing,” Charles said. “I am really proud of my girls for what they’ve done. They had a remarkable season. Although we came up short today, I am not disappointed in anything they have done.”