CLOVER PARK ‚Äî Pacifica Christian was just bounced from the playoffs 12-0 at the hands of Academy for Academic Excellence, but there wasn‚Äôt a long face to be found.
Instead of pouting over the loss in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 softball playoffs on Tuesday at Clover Park, the Seawolves came together for one last cheer before packing it up for the off-season.
The first-year team exceeded everybody‚Äôs expectations, including those of head coach Mike Dolan.
“There‚Äôs nothing to be down about,” Dolan said with a wide smile on his face. “We weren‚Äôt supposed to be here, so yeah, I think the season was a success.”
Tuesday‚Äôs game was never much of a contest. Academy for Academic Excellence scored four times in the top of the first inning, enough to secure the victory.
The Academy cruised from there behind the pitching ‚Äî and hitting ‚Äî of Cassandra Williams. She pitched a complete game that was called after six innings due to the mercy rule. She added five runs batted in for good measure.
She was hurling a no-hitter heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when Pacifica Christian‚Äôs Kate Miller hit a ground ball up the middle that snuck through for a hit.
Even down 12-0 and facing elimination, Miller‚Äôs hit was greeted with a resounding cheer from the dugout.
It‚Äôs that upbeat determination that has helped propel the Seawolves to the first of what they hope are successful softball seasons at Pacifica Christian.
“I come away with a lot of good memories,” said freshman starting pitcher Chandler Dolan. “We‚Äôre encouraged. We have a lot to look forward to.”
As Pacifica Christian heads into year two of the program, there are nuances that Mike Dolan wants to teach his girls.
Because the team was so raw, he spent much of this season going over jargon and basic fundamentals. His team took to his teachings quickly, something he hopes will continue next year.
For now, he‚Äôs encouraging his players to play travel ball over the summer to hone their skills.
“I encourage our kids to play as many sports as they can,” he said. “All we need are some athletes and the rest will work itself out.”
The Seawolves finish their first season 13-4 overall and 7-2 in the Liberty League.