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KEVIN SULLIVAN , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Savanna's Sierra Fennell, Kristin Worley and Amber Andersen, from left, console each other after their 8-4 loss to Paraclete in the CIF-SS Division 6 championship game Saturday at Bill Barber Park in Irvine.

Painful ending for Savanna in Div. 6 final

STAFF WRITER

IRVINE Savanna players in the field had little time to track the ball’s trajectory because it cleared the fences in such a hurry.

As quickly as Taylor Roberts’ dramatic three-run home run in the seventh inning left the yard, the feelings of dejection that haunted the Rebels resurfaced.

Top-seeded Paraclete of Lancaster used a four-run outburst in the final inning to grab its second straight CIF-SS Division 6 title victory over Savanna, taking the latest installment, 8-4, on Saturday afternoon at Bill Barber Park.

The Spirits knocked off the Rebels last June, 9-2, in the championship game.

In wrapping up a perfect season (28-0), Paraclete also extended its winning streak to 48 games, a streak that dates to April 2015.

The Rebels finished 30-3-1.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Savanna coach Mike Willey said. “We have come a long way. We’ve done everything for one solid year to put us in a position that we were in (today). It basically came down to the last inning, executing pitches and making plays earlier in that game.”

In the high-stakes rematch, Paraclete capitalized on three Savanna errors to score its first four runs, all of which were unearned.

With Paraclete leading, 3-2, in the fourth, Rebels pitcher Shyanne Fennell gloved Mackenzie Atkerson’s hard hit liner for the second out of the inning. Fennell attempted to double up the runner on first, but her throw sailed down the right field line, allowing the runner on third to score.

“I can’t remember us ever having four errors in a game,” Willey added. “And I don’t know if it’s the big stage or what, because I’ve put them on the big stage and they’ve been mentally on the big stage every single practice of everyday.”

Savanna tied the score, 4-4, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and second, Fennell smacked an RBI single to center. When the throw home bounced passed the catcher, Mikayla Avina scurried home.

Following a pair of Spirit walks in the seventh, Roberts laced the first pitch she saw from Fennel. An RBI double later in the inning extended the lead to 8-4.

“Our program had never been to the CIF finals and we’ve done it twice now,” Willey said. “We’ve happened to run up against a team that seems to have our number.”Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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