"Hope had a good year," Tarver said. "She was consistent all year long with timely hits and seemed to always come up with a big hit when we needed it, a la the Glen Rose series. I told her that walkoff home run she hit will be one of my memories for life."
The Lady Rams spectacular season earned them nine All-District 6-3A selections, including Patterson as the Offensive Player of the Year, Allen as the Defensive Player of the Year and third baseman Ashley Valdez as Newcomer of the Year.
The Lady Rams bid farewell not only to Tarver, but to two seniors from their greatest team in history: an extremely hard worker and great dugout presence in Mendoza and Allen, whom Tarver called the best he's ever coached.
"Bethany is, for many coaches, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said. "She's just a tremendous athlete, knows the game so well and plays so hard that you're lucky as a coach to get one like her."
But despite three key losses, the Lady Rams have plenty of reason for continued optimism even without an announcement for their new coach as of yet.
The Lady Rams return seven starters, each an all-district selection and five of whom will be seniors next year. It's the perfect storm of experience, talent and team chemistry that could easily combine to form yet another year to remember.
"They have seven returning starters and a JV that works hard," Tarver said. "[They'll have] lots of experience returning and lots of other hungry to be a part of it. They should have a great season next year because of it.
"[The 2014 team] lost significant production and turned right around and had a great year. That speaks a lot to this group playing as a team. When two individuals left, two more stepped up and they won as a team. They are very capable of doing that next year, as well."