By Fred J. Robledo
Diamond Bar High School softball coach Roberta Garcia-Uyemura watched from a distance as the Brahmas’ beat Los Altos 6-5 on Wednesday to move into a three-way tie for first in the Hacienda League with West Covina and Bonita heading into Friday’s final league games. It has been a trying week and year for the Diamond Bar coach. (To continue, click thread)
Above: Diamond Bar great Stephany La Rossa can win a league title in her final league game.
Hacienda: Well, well, well, thanks to Diamond Bar, there is a three-way tie for first heading into Friday’s final games. Diamond Bar beat Los Altos 6-5, to create it all. Diamond Bar (14-9, 9-2) will host West Covina (17-7, 9-2) on Friday, the winner getting at least a share of the title likely with Bonita (21-4, 9-2), who will probably beat Diamond Ranch. If Diamond Bar wins, they own the tiebreaker over Bonita if both finish in first.
Baseline: Glendora (13-11, 6-8) can finish in a tie for third if they can beat Upland (15-8, 7-7) today, but Upland wins the tiebreaker for the playoff spot, having already defeated Glendora twice. The Tartans will apply for a wild-card berth in D-2. Etiwanda won league with Los Osos finishing second.
Del Rey: Bishop Amat (22-3, 11-1) wrapped up the league tile and is already finished.
Sierra: Chino Hills (21-5, 12-2) wins the league title with a 15-2 win over Ayala while South Hills lost to Charter Oak 12-7 on Wednesday. South Hills (16-7, 10-4) will finish second and St. Lucy’s (12-12, 7-7) could finish third if they beat Claremont today and Chino Hills beat Ayala (10-13-1, 7-7) as expected at home. Wouldn’t that be something, Ayala goes from CIF champ to missing the playoffs.
Valle Vista: San Dimas (19-7, 11-0) wrapped up league last week. Northview (16-9-1, 8-3) will finish second with a win at Baldwin Park today and Covina (12-11-1, 7-4) already has third locked up.
Montview: Duarte (17-3, 11-1) Needs to beat Workman and Gladstone to secure league all alone with Azusa (14-7-1, 11-2) behind the great Veronica Ramirez, batting .537 with 32 RBIs. Sierra Vista (14-8, 8-3) locked up third.
Mission Valley: Arroyo (15-6, 13-1) won league long ago with South El Monte (12-10, 10-4) finishing second and Rosemead (11-8, 8-5) third.
It started well for Garcia-Uyemura last year when she adopted her only child, Robby, a newborn.
However, prior to the season health issues forced Garcia-Uyemura to turn to friend Jennifer Cuevas-Flannagan, a former head coach at Los Altos who stepped in and became Garcia-Uyemura’s assistant.
“It was a tough thing going from a Mustang to a Brahama, but Rebecca had some personal health issues and this program is her baby. I know what that’s like so I offered to help her out.”
There was even tougher news for Garcia-Uyemura on Mother’s Day Sunday — her father passed away.
Cuevas-Flannagan coached Wednesday’s game against Los Altos, though Garcia-Uyemura was in attendance. Garcia-Uyemura attended her father’s funeral today and tomorrow Diamond Bar (14-9, 9-2) will play for a share of first at home against West Covina (17-7, 9-2) at 3:15 p.m.
The winner will likely share first with Bonita (21-4, 9-2) who closes out at struggling Diamond Ranch (5-13, 1-9). However, if Diamond Bar and Bonita both win, Diamond Bar wins the tiebraker and will head to the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs next week as the league’s top entry.
Regardless of what happens with Diamond Bar, the season has been a remarkable turnaround. Diamond Bar was 6-18 last year and 0-10 in the Sierra League. To go from not winning a league game to possibly sharing the league title is a position few thought they would be in.
“It’s amazing,” said Cuevas-Flannagan. “I don’t doubt she (Garicia-Uyemura) will be there, either coaching with us or there.
“This team has really rallied behind her and the position they’re in is a phenomenal thing. We have seniors who have never even been in a CIF playoff game, and (tomorrow) they can win a league title. It’s truly a remarkable story.”