OKLAHOMA CITY --- The ASA 18Under GOLD National Championship title is making its way to Arizona for the first time as the Arizona Desert Thunder claimed the 2012 title with a 2-1 win over the Texas Impact GOLD during the “if necessary” game at the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday.
“What a great accomplishment for our girls,” said AZ Desert Thunder Assistant Coach Lance Fowler. “After that first game, we had to wipe our slate clean and just start over. They’re a tough team and that first game we didn’t execute. We had a lot of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on and we had too many errors. That second game though, our intensity really picked up. This means a lot to our organization, especially since we are the first Arizona team to capture the title. I’m so proud of our girls, they deserve it.”
Scoreless through the first two innings, the visiting AZ Desert Thunder jumped on top 2-0 in the top of the third. Morgan McKeevers reached on an error, followed by an Erin Satterfield fielder’s choice. With two runners on, Darcy Taylor produced a two-run double, giving the Thunder its first two runs in nine innings of play.
“We came into this game and just erased the previous loss from our minds,” said Taylor. “I’ve been popping up all week, and when I stepped into the box I just wanted to get on base and do something for my team.”
In the circle, Kaitlin Wilson earned the win after pitching all seven innings and only giving up one run on four hits. The pitching of Wilson stifled the TX Impact batters until the sixth inning, when with two outs they rallied for one run. Reagan Boenker, who reached on a single, scored the lone run for TX Impact courtesy an Allie Piro fielder’s choice with bases loaded. Losing pitcher Katie Marks, who pitched her fifth game of the day, recorded the loss as AZ Desert Thunder connected on five hits on their road to the National Championship Title.
A complete order of finish and bracket of the 73-team championship are attached. The 2013 18-Under GOLD National Championship will take place in Clearwater, Fla. July 22-27. For more information on this year’s 18-Under GOLD National Championship, please visit GOLD.ASASoftbal.com.
Texas Impact 6, AZ Desert Thunder 0
The Texas Impact (11-1) came to play today at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium as they forced an if-necessary game by shutting out undefeated AZ Desert Thunder (6-1) 6-0. Katie Marks collected her fourth win of the day by shutting out the Desert Thunder through all seven innings of play.
Texas Impact got on the board early, and scored in all but one inning on their road to the National Championship title. Collectively, the Impact put together seven hits.
Makayla McAdams was charged with her first loss of the tournament, giving up allowing six runs on seven hits.
Texas Impact 5, So Cal Athletics 4
Another last inning effort by the Texas Impact (10-1) helped land them in the Championship Game as they defeated the So Cal Athletics (5-2) 5-4. The So Cal Athletics jumped to an early lead, scoring two runs in each of the first two innings before giving up the lead to the Impact in the bottom of the seventh.
Down 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, Tori Vidales started the TX Impact rally with a triple after hitting a line drive shot to deep right center. Two batters and one out later, a wild pitch scored Vidales and tied the game. A walk put Miranda Grotenhuis on first base before Heaven Benavidez came in to pinch run. A pop-up by Andrea Hawkins threatened to bring the game to extra innings as Benavidez remained at first base with two outs. With two outs, Mari Cranek hit a shallow fly ball to right field, bringing Benavidez to third base. As Cranek advanced to second base on the throw to third, Benavidez seized the opportunity to end the game by scoring the game winning run.
Katie Marks earned her third win of the day, allowing no runs on two hits through two innings pitched. Rachel Nasland collected the loss for the So Cal Athletics. She gave up one hit, one walk and one run through four batters faced.
Texas Impact 4, Texas Glory – Shelton 3
Late inning heroics lifted the Texas Impact (9-1) to a 4-3 win over the Texas Glory – Shelton (5-2). The bats came alive for the Impact in the six inning as they pushed three runs across the board. The Impact scored three runs in their last at-bat, including a home run by Erin Shireman which gave the Impact the lead over the Texas Glory.
On the mound for the Impact, Katie Marks earned the win after coming in for relief for starter Kaylee Garner. Marks tossed five and two-thirds innings, giving up one run off of five hits. For the Glory, Sydney Littlejohn was charged with the loss. She allowed three runs off of two hits.
So Cal Athletics 0 , AZ Desert Thunder 2
Kaitlin Wilson tossed a shutout to boost the AZ Desert Thunder (6-0) to a 2-0 win over the So Cal Athletics (5-1). Wilson kept the So Cal Athletics off the board for all seven innings she threw while limiting them to three hits.
At the plate, Erin Satterfield led the AZ Desert Thunder offense, going 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and two RBI.
Rachel Nasland took the loss for the So Cal Athletics, giving up two runs off of three hits in two inning pitched.
Texas Impact 7, Oklahoma Athletics 1
The Texas Impact (8-1) defeated the Oklahoma Athletics (5-2) 7-1 after a six-run explosion in the sixth inning. The Impact was led by Mickenzi Krpec and Mari Cranek, both of whom went 3-for-2 with two RBI apiece.
The OK Athletics failed to produce a run off of Katie Marks until the seventh inning when Jill Roye scored off of a Samantha Leisinger double. Marks pitched all seven frames for the Impact, giving up one run and five hits while striking out eight.
Roye took the loss for the OK Athletics. She allow one run in four and a third innings, walked four and gave up four hits.
Texas Glory – Shelton 4, Atlanta Vipers – Giles 3
Holly Kern went 1-for-3 and hit a home run to help the Texas Glory – Shelton (5-1) defeat the Atlanta Vipers – Giles (6-2) 4-3. Kern, hit the home run in the top of the fifth inning, which also scored Katie St. Pierre. On the mound, Kern also collected the win, giving up three hits and one walk in four innings pitched.
For the Atlanta Vipers – Giles, Angie Hughes was charged with the loss. She pitched two and a third innings, giving up one run, one hit and one walk.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
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