As a freshman last softball season, Skylee James had to wait her turn.
A shortstop, James settled for a spot on the Rancho Bernardo team as a right fielder.
“I’d never even played outfield,” James said. “I’d rather have a hard hit ground ball hit at me than a fly ball.”
Now James’ turn has arrived and carried with it an extra benefit.
James scored a run on a double steal and singled in a run as the Broncos downed rival Poway 5-2 in the Palomar League finale Friday afternoon that was also Senior Day.
By winning, the Broncos (21-7, 7-3) captured a share of the league title with Torrey Pines, a 6-0 winner over Canyon Crest.
It was the second league title in four years, the last one coming when this year’s four Broncos seniors were on the team as freshmen.
“I don’t have any words I’m so excited,” Broncos coach Summer Boyle said. “It feels really good, I won’t lie.”
Junior pitcher Sara White (13-6) wiggled out of several jams to pitch 5?2/3 innings. She allowed six hits and five walks but balanced that by striking out nine.
Poway (19-9, 6-4) had good scoring chances in the fourth and fifth innings only to have White buckle down. She ended the fourth with a grounder and a strikeout. Another strikeout stopped the fifth-inning uprising.
Kendall Brundrett came on in relief to get the final out in the sixth inning with two runners on.
Senior Kellie Nagle homered in the seventh inning to provide a bit of insurance for the Broncos, who scored two runs in the first inning on Danielle Knoetze’s single and the double steal.
“Whoever scores first has a better chance to win,” James said. “From there, we can keep pounding on them and let Sara do her thing. It’s good to be in the driver’s seat instead of having to come from behind.”
Poway, which committed three errors, scored a run in the third inning to trail 2-1, though a strikeout ended that threat and set the stage for the next few innings.
“That’s Palomar League,” Poway coach Jim Bennet said. “The team that wins the Palomar League gets two-out hits and doesn’t make mistakes like we did.”
Especially if they’ve been waiting their turn like the Broncos.