MINNEAPOLIS -- After winning the 2011 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities World Series, Los Angeles softball coach Frank Price held tightly to the championship trophy.
He wasn't going to let this one go, and for good reason. Last time around, the trophy was dropped by the coach and broke.
"I inadvertently let it hit the ground," Price said. "I got this one."
This time around it's different. Price has another chance, just the benefits of winning back-to-back titles. Los Angeles beat Santo Domingo/San Pedro, 3-0, on Sunday at the University of Minnesota to win its third overall title.
"It's pretty good," Price said. "It was a great game."
Winning again wasn't easy, though.
After breezing through the round-robin competition and the first two rounds of the playoffs, the undefeated Los Angeles squad was up against an equally impressive team from the Dominican Republic.
"I saw them on workout day and they have some great athletes," Price said. "I knew we had our hands full. They have a very physical presence. So I knew it wasn't going to be an easy game. Then, they are a mentally tough group. They have a lot of fire and fight."
The two teams entered Sunday's championship game undefeated at 8-0. Los Angeles had won by a combined score of 68-5 and had posted five shutouts. Santo Domingo/San Pedro had beaten its opponents by a combined 74-18 and had hit 10 home runs. Both teams were hitting over .400 for the tournament.
"We're very proud," Dominican coach Fabio Herrera said. "We're proud of them. We know they've given 110 percent. Most of these girls are coming back next year, so we are going to have a good team again."
Megan Reiner garnered MVP honors for Los Angeles after pitching a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts. It was her third shutout of the tournament, and her team's sixth. Of course, being the defending champions can mean playing with a target.
"I'm just so excited that we won," Reiner said. "I felt like we were the underdogs because of how aggressive the crowd was toward them. I felt like they hated us. So that's your encouragement, to go hard and do what you came here to do. We came here to win."
Championship games are often low-scoring with quality starting pitching, but Sunday's final was a bit uncharacteristic in one phase -- mistakes on defense. The two teams combined for five errors.
An error led directly to Los Angeles' first run in the bottom of the second. A dropped third strike allowed the batter to try for first base and the ensuing throw went wide, allowing another runner to score.
"I knew we had to manufacture a run," Price said. "I think we did what we had to do to get it done. We pride ourselves on defense. When the errors are happening, I'm over here losing my mind. This is what we do. The pitcher made a great pitch, and you have to reward her for that great pitch and get that out."
The score remained 1-0 until the sixth, when Los Angeles added two more runs.
"All the way until the last inning we knew the game should have been 0-0," Herrera said. "I think that put too much pressure on our kids in the last inning.
"I don't know what happened. You look at that scoreboard and see five errors. We've never done that in a game. We have great fundamentals. We messed up a couple of times today. We just lost it at the end. We don't know what happened."
Santo Domingo/San Pedro starter Rosaury Perez took the loss, going the distance and allowing just three hits and three unearned runs. She had a 0.37 ERA entering Sunday in three games.
The Dominican offense started to get things going late against Reiner, but it couldn't come up with the key hit.
"They were too impatient at the plate, too eager to hit a home run, to hit a double," Herrera said. "We told them all game long, 'Calm down. You've seen the pitcher.' That pitcher, the speed is well below what they are used to seeing. So they could hit it. We were just too anxious."
And Reiner made the key pitches when she had to.
"I've got to stay focused," Reiner said. "I've grown up more and I've become more focused on the mound to make sure that nothing goes wrong."
The game will be broadcast on MLB Network on Aug. 21.
Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.