There was some chatter amongst the Bishop Carroll faithful Saturday afternoon that when it came to big games, the Eagles might be jinxed by Blue Valley.
It might sound ridiculous, but the Eagles lost to Blue Valley in the Class 5A football final, then in Friday's baseball quarterfinals.
Heck, even Carroll's golf team finished two strokes behind the Tigers at state.
So the Eagles' softball team had the last crack to break the streak — and it just so happened to be for the 5A championship.
Carroll left no doubt, winning 9-1 at Two Rivers Youth Club for its ninth softball championship.
"I didn't know about any of that jinx stuff until somebody told me that earlier this morning," Carroll coach Angie Dal Pozzo said. "We kind of had to take one home for Carroll."
It was Carroll's third championship-game appearance in the past four years, but unlike the previous two times when it trailed early and never recovered, the Eagles this time took control.
Carroll scored two runs in the first and added another in the third, which was more than enough for pitcher Jessi Haffner, who looked nothing like a freshman.
While she scattered nine hits, Haffner made the precise pitches when she needed. She left Blue Valley runners in scoring position in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings.
"I tried to stay mentally tough when they had runners on base," Haffner said. "I just told myself to get an out."
Haffner also benefited from the Eagles' exceptional defense. Her infield got a glove on everything that was hit its way. The only mishap was a throw by shortstop Clara Savage that first baseman Colby Dresher couldn't pick.
"It just wasn't our day, hitting-wise," Blue Valley coach Stephanie Chomicki said. "Hats off to their defense, which was solid."
Senior Kelsey Jones, along with Liz Carney, Sarah Balderas and Erica Hampton, were part of the teams that came up short in 2008 and 2010. From the first day of practice, winning Carroll's first state title since 2004 was all the seniors talked about.
Those four combined to go 5 for 11 with three RBIs and three runs.
"We tried and tried and tried, but couldn't succeed in the past," Jones said. "To finally get it is the best feeling in the world."
Carroll was patient against Blue Valley starter Chloe Rogers, who threw 42 pitches in the first two innings.
Kaitlyn Carey led off Carroll's first inning with a single and stole second. The next batter, Clara Savage, drove her in. Savage then scored off Balderas' single.
Jones' RBI single in the third moved Carroll's lead to 3-0, then she hit a solo home run in the fifth.
"I was just trying to get a base hit, because I haven't been swinging the bat well," Jones said. "It's usually when I don't try to hit a home run is when it happens."
Hampton followed Jones' homer with a single up the middle and then for the finale, Colby Dresher smoked a line drive over the left-field fence for two runs.
"Whether it was hitting a line drive, hitting a home run or getting a bunt down, everybody did their job today," Dal Pozzo said. "It was truly a team effort this weekend and I couldn't be more proud."
Blue Valley (18-5) 000 000 1 — 1 9 1 Bishop Carroll (23-2) 201 030 x — 6 11 1
W—Haffner. L—Rogers. HR—Carroll, Jones, Dresher.
St. Thomas Aquinas (20-5) 000 300 3 — 6 10 0 Hays (22-3) 000 001 0 — 1 5 2
Blue Valley (18-4) 210 211 0 — 7 11 0 Hays (22-2) 000 000 0 — 0 3 4
St. Thomas Aquinas (19-5) 000 000 0 — 0 4 2 Bishop Carroll (22-2) 000 200 x — 2 6 0