IRVINE — Falling behind by three runs, the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team was asked to fight its way back in its CIF Southern Section championship game Friday against Pomona Catholic.
The Guards responded.
However, finding themselves down a second time by a three-run deficit, this time heading into the final inning, the Bell-Jeff coaches asked their players to muster another comeback attempt in the Division VII game.
No. 2 Bell-Jeff put forth a valiant effort, pushing across two runs in the seventh inning and putting the potential tying run on second base. But the No. 1 Pacers were able to weather the challenge, sending the Guards down to a 7-6 defeat at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.
It was the first time Bell-Jeff has advanced to a CIF title contest after not getting past the second round of the postseason prior to this season.
It was also the first time in 36 years that a team in the city was able to make it to a championship. Burbank High won a 3-A crown in 1975, and that serves as the area's lone CIF softball title.