While Colusa Area Little League Minor girls softball made county history in district and section games the past couple of weeks, they fell just one run short against East Bay for the championship title.
On July 6, Colusa descended to the first game of the state championship series in Natomas to take on the North Natomas team.
Unlike past games, Colusa fell short on offense and suffered an unexpected loss to Natomas with a 4-7 final score.
“After playing six nights in a row for the previous wins, we just fell short,” said coach Heather Nall.
As a team name “Comeback Kids” began to arise, Colusa found themselves back on the field in Natomas, on July 7, against the same team who beat them the day prior.
Going just five innings this time, Colusa not only fell in sync on offense but defensively as well. Cecelia Mitchum found success from the mound in the strike zone, shutting down the offense of North Natomas. Colusa sailed past with a shutout victory, 12-0.
“Ailyah Santana and Braelyn Santana led the offense, but our entire team hit the ball,” Nall said. “Mallori Garofalo and Kennedy Nall helped with their RBI’s as well. These girls are in sync and are on a mission.”
Without a day’s rest, Colusa headed back to Natomas for their state championship hunt on July 8 to battle with Madera. Having already lost one game, Madera was on a quest to advance to the next round.
But the “Come Back” girls of Colusa All Stars came with determination and an offensive explosion to eliminate Madera with a 12-2 win, and once again advancing in the state championship series.
On track for the final games of the series, Colusa met up with the East County team from the Bay Area.
Mitchum led the defense from the circle and the plate, driving in the “go ahead” runs with a two run double in fourth, pushing Colusa to claim a 3-1 win.
“The girls have really been tested this post season and have found themselves in some tight situations, in some close ball games,” said Nall. “The ability to keep the composure that they do at their age is pretty incredible.”
With the last game left, Colusa headed to Natomas on July 10 for the championship game against East Bay.
Taking an early lead, 1-0, Colusa battled offensively and defensively but fell short in the sixth inning as East Bay jumped ahead with a 2-1 lead, from which Colusa never recovered.
“I’m humbled by these girls’ ability to compete and I am beyond proud to be their coach,” Nall said. “We were in it until the end. We have fallen short but they are true champions. It takes heart, determination, and true passion to play and accomplish what these girls have in the past three weeks. Colusa community is also something special. They rallied behind these girls and saw us all the way to the very end. The sea of Cardinal in the stands was incredible. “Come Back Kids” truly was the motto for this team!” ■