DIAMOND NOTES: Ex-Wildcat helps tame NEC in decisive Super Regional game … Richard, Ruelas, Bolinger, Casas softball seasons all come to an end. Redlands East Valley product Dylan Fashempour helped deliver his college team, University of Massachusetts-Boston, to the NCAA Division III College World Series.
The Beacons’ 6-1 win over New England College last Saturday clinched a spot at the CWS, held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Fashempour, a freshman right-hander who brought a 6-2 record (2.40 ERA) into last weekend, was held back as the Beacons’ ace in the hole -- needed only if the best-of-3 series came down to a winner-take-all game. He was.
Fashempour surrendered a home run in his five-inning stint (5 hits allowed, 8 strikeouts) before he was lifted for Tylor Arruda and senior closer Bobby Tramondozzi who came in to finish off the Pilgrims.
“Feels amazing,” he said moments after the celebration. “I couldn’t be more excited.”
On Thursday, one day before the Super Regionals were set to begin, Fashempour said, “I’m not sure what their plans are for me this weekend.”
Beacons’ coach Brendan Eygabroat’s plan seemed obvious. He went to more experienced pitchers in the first two games, but turned to Fashempour in that decisive third game.
Tramondozzi, the Beacons’ all-time leader in saves, came into his 90th career game with plenty on the line — bases loaded in the eighth inning with two outs.
He struck out Luis Atiles on a 2-2 pitch. Evan Delaney’s monster home run was the lone run surrendered by Fashempour, only the third HR he’s allowed over 60 innings this season.
The Beacons, trailing 2-0 and 4-3 in Friday’s NCAA Division III Super Regional opener, eventually squeaked past New England, 5-4. A grand slam highlighted New England’s 6-4 second-game triumph, forcing a third and decisive game between the two Boston campuses.
“I’m the only California guy on the team,” said Fashempour, noting UMass-Boston’s roster.
“This is the place I really wanted to be.” COLLEGE SOFTBALL Cal State Fullerton, armed with onetime Citrus Valley High slugger Zoe Richard, couldn’t get past Missouri in the opening round of last week’s NCAA West Regional.
The Lady Titans lost to Mizzou, 7-4. One day later, Weber (Utah) State ended the Lady Titans’ season with a 7-3 win in Westwood. Richard, who doubled against Mizzou, singled ahead of teammate Daisy Munoz’s HR in the loss to Weber State. Fullerton’s season ended at 38-18.
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Stephanie Ruelas, a former Redlands East Valley infielder, batted .222 in extremely limited time at Concordia-Irvine University this past season. The team, which finished 47-8 overall, got knocked out of the NCAA Division II Super Regional Tournament by powerhouse UC San Diego, 9-1 and 5-4.
Ruelas, a former team captain at REV, didn’t play as a Concordia freshman, winding up hitting .222 in nine at-bats this past season.
Concordia, which tore through the NCAA West Regional with wins over Concordia (Ore.), San Francisco State and Western Oregon to earn a shot in the Super Regionals, beat CCAA champion Sonoma State earlier this season.
Cal State San Bernardino had been ranked 10th in the final NCAA Division II West Regional poll and was not selected for NCAA tournament play.
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Brooke Bolinger, who pitched Yucaipa to a CIF Division 2 high school championship, took the mound for University of Texas in a Super Regional showdown against Alabama last Saturday.
Bolinger, who transferred to Texas from Nevada-Reno, flung the lion’s share of innings for a 31-5 Lady T-Birds’ team that surrendered just two runs in a 5-game playoff run.
Against a trio of Redlands schools that season -- Redlands, REV and Citrus Valley -- Bolinger surrendered a total of one run. In a 4-1 win over the Lady Wildcats, Abby San Pedro singled home Riley Plogger for REV’s only run. Bolinger was knocked out of the game, Alabama eventually beating the Lady Longhorns, 9-5.
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Former Aquinas star hitter Zoe Casas, whose Florida State University team won last year’s NCAA Division I College World Series, struck out in the final inning of her team’s 3-2 to Oklahoma State in last week’s Super Regionals.
It brought an end to Casas’ career, who hit .335 in her senior season, one year after winning first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.