Teri Johnson has 27 years of experience as James Logan High's head softball coach, and she knew just what it was going to take to beat top-seeded and defending champion Amador Valley in the North Coast Section Division I title game.
"I told them at the very beginning of the game that we were going to have to connect on two balls in a row and play flawless defense with no errors and no mental mistakes," said Johnson.
She was exactly right.
Though the underdog in the NCS championship, Johnson's girls did just what she asked.
The Colts put together an exceptional defensive effort that included two double plays and perfect execution on a close play at the plate. That, along with one run on two hits in the top of the seventh inning, was enough to earn a 1-0 victory over the Dons for the program's fourth section championship.
It also capped one of the finest seasons in program history and earned Johnson Bay Area News Group East Bay Coach of the Year honors.
The Colts' lineup consisted of nearly all of the key players that won a NCS championship in 2010 and the team rode a 20-game winning streak into the section final. But Logan still wasn't expected by most to win.
In their last two games against Amador Valley and pitcher Johanna Grauer, the Colts were shut out, including a no-hitter in March. Johnson didn't let the Colts didn't have a defeatist attitude going into the final, though.
"They never gave up," Johnson
Logan finished the season ranked No. 4 in the ESPN Powerade Fab 50 rankings, the highest in school history. The 24-1 season also included a third straight Mission Valley Athletic League championship and a title at the Reed Spring Break Tournament in Nevada.
But the most satisfying win was the last one.
"This win is really, really exciting because of my seniors," said Johnson, who also credited assistant coach Wendell Jones with the program's continued success. "I love those guys to death and to come out with the championship their senior year was so rewarding and special for me for them."