Osan freshman hurls team to victory
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – Wind up and deliver. Strike out Warrior batter. Repeat.
That was Ciera Farias’ narrative Wednesday, as the freshman right-hander staged a virtuoso pitching performance, fanning 11 Daegu batters and allowing just two hits to help deliver Osan a first Far East High School Division II Softball Tournament title in school history.
Coach Betty Brazill called Farias “an all-star player” following Osan’s 2-1 dethroning of 2013 champion Daegu at Yokosuka’s turfed Berkey Field.
Farias has also seen time at first base, third base, shortstop and behind the plate in Osan’s historic Far East championship campaign.
“We expect big things from her,” Brazill said.
Wednesday’s title game had originally been scheduled to be played at Ranger Complex on Naval Air Facility Atsugi. But morning-long rain rendered the grass and dirt surfaces of its four diamonds unplayable. On short notice, the D-II and D-I title games were moved to Berkey.
It was the only game played Wednesday; the remaining elimination games were scrapped and the tournament reduced to a one-game single-elimination final. Humphreys was awarded third place, as was American School In Japan in D-I; each are first-year programs.
While Farias pitched big, the Cougars played small ball in getting their only runs in the fourth inning without the benefit of a hit. Two errors on one play allowed Renelyn Paat to score from first base, then Alexis Delveau plated Farias with a fielder’s choice groundout.
Only one Daegu batter reached on a hit, Rachel Wyche, who had two hits. The Warriors’ lone run came in the bottom of the fourth when Rheagan Wyche reached on an error, stole second and third and came home on an overthrow by the catcher.
Brazill expressed pride in the Cougars’ performance the last three weeks. “Girls who haven’t been catching balls are now catching balls, girls who haven’t been hitting are now hitting. They’re fabulous. They’re amazing,” she said.
Heady territory for a team that began the season with 10 players new to the game, seven of them cheerleaders. “And look what they’ve accomplished,” Brazill said.