Ali Aguilar left Village Christian of Sun Valley both with a hunch and an emotional truth.
Aguilar believes his Santa Clarita Christian softball team shared a field with the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 champion-to-be on Wednesday afternoon.
He knows he coached SCCS and his daughter, Hailey, for the last time.
The Cardinals fell 20-1 to No. 1 seed Village Christian in the first round of the Division 7 playoffs, ending Aguilar’s nearly decade-long run as the school’s softball coach.
Hailey, a senior, will soon graduate, and Aguilar will leave for a position at Trinity Classical Academy next year.
“It was defiantly an emotional day,” Aguilar said. “But the kids had really good attitudes and were really upbeat and that’s what makes it fun for a coach in the situation we were in.”
The situation was, at best, an uphill battle.
Village (15-11), which beat West Ranch earlier this season, scored 11 runs in the first, six in the second and three in the third.
Sydnee Skinner drove in SCCS’s lone run with an RBI single in the third; then the Cardinals (8-7) held Village without a run in the fourth before the game ended in the fifth.
“We held them for an inning when we finally settled down,” Aguilar said.
Cardinal Sydney Preheim had two hits, Grace Patterson went 1-for-2 and Hailey Aguilar went 1-for-2.
“Coaching for your daughter, it’s good and tough at the same time,” said Aguilar, who also coached his older daughter, Sierra, at SCCS. “Sometimes you’re a little too hard on your own daughter as a coach.”
Aguilar also said his wife, Jill, played a big role in his time as SCCS’s athletic director (since 2009-2010) and softball coach (since 2009).
“I couldn’t do coaching and all I do without my family, obviously with my wife being number one,” Aguilar said.