ZIONSVILLE — For some people the third time is a charm, but for Gene Richardson the seventh time was a charm.
The Riverfield Senior Girls Softball coach had made six previous appearances in the state tournament before he broke through with a 9-5 victory over Osolo on Sunday night at Lions Park in Zionsville.
Richardson stormed the field with his team after the final out, was seen in the middle of the dog pile around the pitcher's circle and was seen shortly after that hugging each player.
"It's been a long time coming," said Richardson. "That was my fourth time in the final game, and it was very emotional for me. I'm glad I got it for those girls. Coaching these girls is the joy of my life."
The championship game was a rematch of the 2013 championship, in which Osolo defeated Riverfield. The local 15-16 year old girls were not to be denied this time.
"There was a lot of revenge factor," said Richardson. "We felt we had as good of a team as they did last year, and I knew we could do it. The revenge factor was there, and I wanted it."
For the second time in two days and third time in a row against Osolo over the last two years, Riverfield fell behind by at least three runs in the first inning. Osolo led 4-0 last year in the title game and 4-0 on Saturday night before Riverfield rebounded to win 11-5. On Sunday night, the All-Stars were in the same situation — down 3-0 after just one inning.
"I don't understand what the deal is and why we give them the lead," said Richardson of the slow starts. "Last year, we gave them four in the first inning."
Riverfield finally got on the board in the third inning with seven runs on seven hits, including six in a row. With one out, Kiley Saylor singled, and then with two outs Sydney Hatter, Hailee Beeson, Dyamond Maxwell, Shelley Smith, Tamera Fuller and Makaylla Sutton all reached base with a hit to make the score 7-3.