La Costa Canyon is 21-5 overall and 6-2 in the Avocado West League.
CARLSBAD The pregame instruction from coach Jeanne Bass was typical coach-speak.
“Coach Jeanne told us to get on top, stay on top,” La Costa Canyon pitcher Shannon Hennessy said.
Obviously, Bass’ No. 2-ranked Mavericks listened.
Especially Hennessy. The junior right-hander took advantage of a two-out, first-inning error by Carlsbad, slugging a three-run home run to left field to get on top. She then pitched a three-hit complete game to stay on top for a 7-2 victory Thursday over the host Lancers.
“On the way over here, we knew we would win,” Hennessy said. “We couldn’t lose.”
The third-straight win by the Mavericks (21-5, 6-2) not only clinched the city of Carlsbad championship — LCC edged Carlsbad 2-1 on April 28 — but it also locked up the Avocado West League title.
“This feels so good,” said the 5-foot-51/2 Hennessy, who allowed just two Lancers to reach scoring position despite only striking out one. “We were underdogs all season because we had a rough season last year.
“Everyone underestimated us. Losing got into our heads. We decided we weren’t going to let it happen again.”
Last year’s 8-17 season that included a third-place finish in league is now just a memory after an eight-hit attack that also included junior Riley Casper’s solo home run in the second inning.
Sophomore Sarah Schneider’s solo home run for Carlsbad (14-9, 5-3) closed the deficit to 4-1 and an error in the third inning made it 4-2 before the Mavs closed out the scoring with a three-run fourth inning. Bailey Romano’s two-run single was the big blow.
Hennessy did the rest.
“I’m not a power pitcher by any means,” the University of Dallas-bound Hennessy said. “I just throw outs. My strength is that I’m smart about what to throw.
“I out-think hitters, not overpower them. I pitch with an attitude. You have to prove you can beat me.”