The Paraclete Spirits captured their first CIF title in the school’s 52-year history Saturday, June 6 with a 9-2 victory over Savanna.
Kaila Searcy pitched a gem, giving up two runs, one of which came on a throwing error.
The game did not start out the way the Spirits wanted it to. The first batter of the game, Savanna’s Kristin Worley, laid down a bunt and beat the throw. However, the throw sailed over the first baseman’s head, and bounced into the right field corner. Worley rounded the bases to score.
After the first inning, though, Searcy mowed down the batters, keeping Paraclete in the game.
“I just had to stay calm,” Searcy said. “I knew I couldn’t get down on myself. I knew we would come back.”
The only senior in the starting lineups for both teams was Paraclete’s Jenny Littlejohn. Batting eighth, Littlejohn ripped a double over the right fielder’s head to start a rally in the bottom of the second. She went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs.
Sam Ariolla drove Littlejohn in with a double of her own, and Rylee Maston crushed the first pitch she saw over the fence in left field for a two-run home run.
Sitting comfortably with a 5-1 lead, Searcy continued to strand runners and keep the Savanna Rebels at bay.
The only road bump Kaila Searcy hit was in the fifth inning, where the Rebels loaded the bases with no outs. A 6-4-3 double play did drive in a run, but it effectively killed Savanna’s rally, as she worked her way out of a jam, nearly unscathed.
Rylee Maston extended the Spirit’s lead with a double. Maston finished 3 for 4 with a double, homer and four RBIs, leading the way for Paraclete.
The Paraclete defense turned 4 double plays on the day, helping Searcy finish the game, allowing only 6 hits.
“It is very exciting. It is a long time coming so it feels great to finally capture something that so many of the teams have been working so hard for. This win is naturally for all the girls on this year's team, but, it also a program win. This one is for all the girls and coaches that have been a part of Paraclete. I am still walking around with a giant smile!” wrote coach Margaret Neill in an email.