STOCKTON -- Rather than get wrapped up in the sadness of the moment Saturday, Erin Arevalo chose to look toward her promising future at the University of Georgia -- and football season.
"They've got a great team and I can't wait to see the first game," said Arevalo, a top recruit for Georgia's softball program. "I'm going to miss East Union, but it's exciting thinking about college."
That was Arevalo's way of putting a happy face on a disappointing day, as East Union lost twice to Bear River to be denied a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title for the second year in a row.
The Bruins beat EU 4-0 in the opener and, since EU was unbeaten going into the game, Bear River had to beat the Lancers a second time 4-0 to win the crown.
It was the same scenario a year ago, with the scores 6-3 and 1-0.
"I've got a good attitude about it," said Arevalo, a candidate for the CalHiSports.com state player of the year. "Like last year, we made mistakes that put us behind early. It's disappointing."
Arevalo finishes her four-year career with 1,518 career strikeouts, fifth place on the all-time list for California pitchers. She passed prep legend and Olympic pitcher Lisa Fernandez in the first game of the doubleheader.
She'll play for the Arizona Hotshots this summer, though with a reduced schedule, before flying off for Georgia in late August.
"One of things I'm most excited about is that football season is starting when I get there," Arevalo said. "Georgia's one of the top two or three teams in the country, so I can't wait for it to start."
The Lancers' offense never got started against Bear River, showing little spark in the opener and failing to convert two excellent opportunities in the nightcap.
With runners on second and third and no outs in the second, the Bruins turned a double play -- the third baseman grabbed a two-hopper, tagged the runner off third and then threw to first.
Down 2-0 in the fifth, EU had runners on first and second. Instead of bunting, it went for a big inning and let Rochelle Sellers -- a .218 hitter -- swing away.
She drilled a grounder that was headed to left before shortstop Courtney Ceo snatched it and threw to third for an out. Nycole Teeple followed with a vicious line drive toward left, but Ceo jumped to grab it for an out.
"That stopped any momentum they had," Ceo said. "Any time a team has runners on, the momentum can shift just like that."