Softball: Diamond Bar beat West Covina 1-0 behind Stephany La Rosa’s home run to earn share of the Hacienda League title with Bonita

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
In terms of feel-good endings, it doesn’t get much better than this. Diamond Bar High School softball coach Rebecca Garcia-Uyemura’s father passed away on Sunday and his funeral was Thursday, but she returned Friday with her Brahmas softball team having an opportunity to finish in a tie for the Hacienda League title, almost unthinkable considering the Brahmas were 0-10 in the Sierra League last year and hadn’t sniffed the playoffs since 2006. Then there is Stephany La Rosa, the UCLA-bound shortstop who has been one of the Southland’s best since her freshman year, but on teams that always struggled — until now.
And how fitting is it that La Rosa’s eighth homer of the season, a first-inning blast that cleared the scoreboard in right, would be the difference in Diamond Bar’s dramatic 1-0 victory over West Covina on Friday. (To continue click thread)


“It’s something we wanted,” La Rosa said. “We wanted it bad.”
It was the Brahmas’ best defensive game of the season, sophomore pitcher Danielle Wilson going the distance and giving up just five hits to earn the victory and shutout.
The win gave Diamond Bar (15-9, 10-2) a share of the league title with Bonita (22-4, 10-2), an 11-1 winner over Diamond Ranch, with West Covina (17-8, 9-3) finishing third.
Although Bonita owns the first-place tiebreaker over Diamond Bar and will enter next week’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs as the league’s top entry, nothing could take away from the Brahmas’ first piece of the league title since 2004, and for seniors like La Rosa, a chance to compete in her first playoffs next week.
Garcia-Uyemura, who battled heath problems all year, said having the help of assistants Vince La Rosa, Stephany’s father, and Jennifer Cuevas-Flannagan, a former coach at Walnut, made everything even more memorable.
She also said there was an Angel in their corner, referring to her father.
“It was special and like we had three head coaches, I can’t thank them enough or the way the players came through today, it was something I’m never going to forget,” Garcia-Uyemura said. “To put it all together and hold on for 1-0 victory is incredible. You need everyone contributing to do something like that.”
La Rosa, taking pictures with just about anyone around her, took her time leaving the field.
“It’s not just about going 0-10 last year, the past three years we struggled,” La Rosa said. “To have it come together my senior year, with my dad here coaching me and getting this for coach (Garcia-Uyemura), you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
The Brahmas managed only three hits off West Covina pitcher Dekota Monarrez, but there is only one that mattered.
Instead of walking La Rosa with two outs and the bases empty in the first inning, the Bulldogs opted to pitch to La Rosa, and they paid.
It was gone the minute it left her bat.
“We know she’s got that in her,” West Covina coach Colin Logan said of La Rosa’s power. “We tried to pitch her accordingly but she took a pitch the other way and got a home run. It is what it is, what more can you say, give her credit.”
La Rosa was looking to take something deep.
“I’ve been walked quite a few times this season,” La Rosa said. “When a pitcher challenges me I’m up for it. I stepped up to the plate and got hold of one.”
It wasn’t just her offense, La Rosa made three head-shaking plays at short, something her coach has marvelled at for four years.
“She makes a lot of plays the average shortstop doesn’t make,” Garcia-Uyemura said. “That’s the reason she’s going to UCLA.”

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  • and1

    Fred,
    Please explain this so called tie breaker formula between Bonita and Diamond!

  • Wolfman

    That’s crazy, Diamond Bar didn’t win a game in the Sierra and is now shooting for 1st, Shows you how strong the Sierra League really is. I don’t expect Diamond Bar to beat West Covina anytime soon. Bonita will be champs, again..and it’s not due to coaching, They have talent.

  • FredJ

    And1
    I don’t know, it was just explained to me by the Diamond Bar AD that Diamond Bar owns the tiebreaker over Bonita

  • Wolfman

    For Bonita it looks like losing that game to DB may come back to haunt them! Crazy. Hopefully for Bonita’s sake the AD at DB has it wrong, Fred should ask the AD at Bonita, He may get a different answer.

  • and1

    Fred,
    Maybe you should make a call? what comes to mind is diamond bar filed a protest in their first game against bonita they lost 7-0 the protest was about bonita putting down the wrong jersey number on the wrong player creating a batting out of order scenario. Maybe this is about the protest? I believe they go by names in high school so they should lose the protest.

  • Steve Ramirez

    And1: They do go by numbers in high school. The umpire doesn’t say, ‘Smith in for Jones.’ He says, ’1 in for 4.’ I would guess that if a player with a number not on the line-up card, then the game would have to be replayed from that moment.
    As for finishing first, remember, officially, if two teams tie for first both are co-champs. The tiebreaker is just for playoff ranking, but both are still league champs.

  • and1

    Steve,
    The game was 4-0 bonita at that point in the 4th. Both players were in the line up but there numbers were reversed it wasn’t until the third time around time around when Liddel hit the first homerun that the issue was brought up. A number 1 seeding is very important in a single elimination tournament.

  • FredJ

    It has nothing to do with a protest, AD Kurt Davies explained it’s a point value system based on head-to-head games within league, quality wins in league being the most important…

  • Steve Ramirez

    And1: No doubt, but not always, sometimes the No. 2 rep or No. 3 rep from a particular league gets a better draw. As for the rule, it’s not the umpire’s call to bring it up, and most coaches only do it when it benefits them. I know the Biola softball coach has a habit where she forgets to officially re-enter her players after subbing out, and I’ve seen her get burned a couple of times, even saw a ‘do-over’ last year. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I think at this late date, there might not be nothing to do, because all the games, due to playoff pairings, have to be finished by saturday, I believe. And if the pecking order of Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are decided, then there will be no reason to complete the protest, if it’s upheld.

  • Wolfman

    When a batter bats out of order in a lineup it is simply an out, And then next batter bats, If it is not brought up to the attention til the end of the game the point is moot. Just look it up in CIF same as ASA rules. A batter out of order wasn’t the reason you lose a 7-0 game, There’s bigger issues there, IMO That’s just being a sore loser. And Fred did the DB AD define a “Quality” win as opposed to “Non-Quality” win? I thought a league win was a league win. Head to Head Bonita eats DB alive, That win was a fluke and can be attributed to coaching errors on Bonita’s part. Which is why they are in the situation they are in. Go Bulldogs, Go Bearcats.

  • and1

    interesting note
    I was told West Covina has not seen Diamond Bars #1 pitcher the first go around was against their #2. Anyone know the best way to get from diamond ranch to Diamond Bar?

  • DB

    Fred just don’t walk over and watch the Baseball team Geeeeeeez! Stay at the Softball game if you want to watch kids compete.

  • melanie

    if someone doesn’t mind, can you send an inning to inning update on the game. or something of the sort
    thank you

  • Fred Robledo

    I’ll update the diamond bar, west covina game on my twitter, you can register or check it out on the right side of this blog…

  • How to beat WC

    When their two hitters come up, throw them changes-ups. DB make the WC pitcher throw strikes, go deep in the count. She’s own good for 3 to 4 innings, Good luck DB.

  • Champions

    The 2010 Sierra League’s 0-10 Brahmas are the 2011 Hacienda League’s Champions!

  • patrick

    YES..YES…YES!! i knew you girls could do it! Coach Garcia, that one was for you!!

    Congrats Lady Brahmas! You are something special! Do NOT stop yet, Keep fighting!

  • patrick

    Wow!! Judging by the boo hoo’s there might not be enough crow to go around!

    @Wolfman, you my friend are an ASS!! you NOW have NO credibility on this message board as far as im concerned!

  • Champions

    Moving The Brahmas to the Hacienda League paid off for them. It didn’t workout for other teams, Claremont was last in the Baseline and this year they are last in the Sierra.

  • the real champs

    actually the real champions of the hacienda league are the Bonita Bearcats, sorry to burst all your bubbles but it seems apparent that in the tie breaker rule, Bonita beat Diamond Bar by one point…

  • Fred Robledo

    When I got to the game Diamond Bar AD Kurt Davies said he got it wrong, that Bonita owned the tiebreaker over Diamond Bar. But the last commenter got it wrong too, Bonita is not “the real champions”, they’re co-league champions with Diamond Bar. Tiebreakers are for playoff seeding purposes. It was Diamond Bar’s first title since 2004.

  • patrick

    @ Champions,

    You are wrong! Bonita is only #1 in terms of league representation in CIF, because Bonita lost to Los Altos, and DB beat swept Los Altos, technically they are Co league champions! It doesnt matter, DB overcame quite adverse circumstances to get to this moment ,so dont try to rain on the girls moment to shine!

  • shfan

    You’re an idiot “the real champs”. Bonita and Diamond Bar are both league champions. They both get the same patches and both get the same recognition at the school. The only thing that is different is that Bonita gets to represent the Hacienda League as the #1 team for the playoffs. Whoever gets to face Diamond Bar is going to be unlucky because not very many #2 teams in league face league champions.

  • Los Altos Alum

    Congrats to Diamond Bar..What a great season for their girls and their Coach… They did it the hard way…They earned it.

  • socalbaseball fan

    the hacienda league should go to playing each other 3 times in league and this would eliminate give you the league champion in case of a 2 way tie. this should be done in both softball and baseball.

  • BrahmaSoftball

    Great season Diamond Bar! To go from 0-10 to sharing the league championship is amazing! What a difference a year can make. So happy for Stephany LaRosa in her senior year finally going to CIF and winning the Hacienda League MVP. Dani Wilson transformed into possibly the best pitcher in the league and is only a sophomore! Liz Rubalcava and Julie Walters both got their bats on fire this year! Breanna Gonzalez became a beast in centerfield and made some amazing catches. Natalie Barajas was great at third and Amber Montes was excellent as a leadoff hitter. Lizzy McCabe finally got the time she deserved at the plate. Aubrey Horita was fantastic as a freshman in the outfield. All nine of those girls were either on the first team, second team, honorable mentions, or in Steph’s case, MVP. All the credit should go to Stephany’s dad, Vince LaRosa and former Walnut head coach Jennifer Cuevas-Flannigan. Coach Garcia-Uyemura and Howk were great also! Diamond Bar, even without the LaRosa’s, will be a force to reckoned with in years to come with a solid freshman class next year. Wilson’s pitching, Rubalcava’s hitting, and Walters’ leadership will carry the Brahmas to another league championship next year!

  • BrahmaSoftball

    Great season Diamond Bar! To go from 0-10 to sharing the league championship is amazing! What a difference a year can make. So happy for Stephany LaRosa in her senior year finally going to CIF and winning the Hacienda League MVP. Dani Wilson transformed into possibly the best pitcher in the league and is only a sophomore! Liz Rubalcava and Julie Walters both got their bats on fire this year! Breanna Gonzalez became a beast in centerfield and made some amazing catches. Natalie Barajas was great at third and Amber Montes was excellent as a leadoff hitter. Lizzy McCabe finally got the time she deserved at the plate. Aubrey Horita was fantastic as a freshman in the outfield. All nine of those girls were either on the first team, second team, honorable mentions, or in Steph’s case, MVP. All the credit should go to Stephany’s dad, Vince LaRosa and former Walnut head coach Jennifer Cuevas-Flannigan. Coach Garcia-Uyemura and Howk were great also! Diamond Bar, even without the LaRosa’s, will be a force to reckoned with in years to come with a solid freshman class next year. Wilson’s pitching, Rubalcava’s hitting, and Walters’ leadership will carry the Brahmas to another league championship next year!