IRVINE — For the first several innings, Saturday's CIF Southern Section Division V championship game at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine played out faithfully to the script of last year's.
Once again, the La Cañada High softball team squared off with Beaumont for the title with dominant starting pitchers headlining the matchup and once again things were nip and tuck in the early going.
But, whereas in 2011 they stayed that way right until the end of the Spartans victory, in which an Anna Edwards home run backed a Lauren O'Leary shutout for a one-run win on just three hits, this year's La Cañada team took a different path to a championship.
Lauren Cox delivered another stellar pitching effort for La Cañada, but this time, the Spartans' offense would have no part of a pitcher's duel.
With the confidence of a reigning champion and the determination of a team with something to prove after being stymied by Beaumont pitcher Alyssa Fuimaono last year, the Spartans started hot and finished on fire in tagging Fuimaono for seven runs on 11 hits in Saturday's 7-3 win.