Prep Baseball & Softball

Clovis High softball clinches back-to-back Division I titles

Clovis High softball pitcher Danielle Lung finished a historic season Friday night by beating Buchanan – again.

The Cougars defeated the Bears 6-3 in the Central Section Division I championship at Fresno State's Margie Wright Diamond. Clovis went 4-0 against Buchanan this season.

Fresno State-bound Lung finished her Clovis career with 92 wins, fifth-best in section history, according to historian Bob Barnett. But no one has done what Lung did this year, going 25-0.

"All the hard work has finally paid off," Lung said. "This is an amazing team. I'm definitely going to miss them. It's the greatest team I've ever played with. We've accomplished a lot and I'm going to miss them very much.

"I literally had the feeling like I was already playing in college with the atmosphere that's here. I literally got a feel what it's going to be like."

She had a shaky moment in the fifth when Buchanan trimmed the Cougars' lead to 4-2, but Allie Puente's two-run triple gave Clovis and Lung breathing room.

The Cougars added to previous Valley titles for the softball program in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2015 and 2017.

The Cougars’ last eight titles have come under coach Mike Noel who is 639-187-6 in 23 seasons.

"It's been a special year and a special four years for the seniors to win three out of four," Noel said. "They've been good for a long time and they deserve this. As hard as they've worked these four years, this group in particular – all 18 of them – it's a special group that deserves a lot of good things. Fortunately it worked out for them tonight."

Anthony Galaviz: @agalaviz_TheBee