IRVINE — Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball player Monique Landini had felt the sting of losing two straight CIF Southern championship games. She wasn’t going to endure a third.
The previous two years, the Guards advanced to the championship contest in Division VII, only to walk off the field at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine heartbroken after suffering one-run losses both years.
Saturday brought new hope for Bell-Jeff, which was trying to break its losing string in another division — VI. Landini did her share to make that happen. The senior shortstop belted a pair of home runs and the Guards used a big five-run fifth inning to earn an 8-4 victory against Mary Star of the Sea.
Bell-Jeff (22-10) did it with hitting, which included three home runs, and with its defense, as it turned a rare triple play.
“This just feels amazing. I can’t believe we won it,” said Landini, who is headed to St. Johns. “We wanted to win this so bad and we were finally able to get it done.”