ESPN RISE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
When a bitterly cold Friday night ended at 1030; there were four teams still contending for the first ESPN Rise National Championship – and Saturday’s final pairing would have to be decided by two 8am “what if” games.
In early afternoon, the OC Batbusters and So Cal Athletics were undefeated, atop the winners bracket, waiting for four teams to settle out the losers bracket: Georgia Elite, Sorcerer, Texas Impact and Corona Angels Marty. By nightfall, Georgia Elite and Sorcerer had been eliminated, Texas Impact had upset the Batbusters 8-2 and Corona Angels had upset the Athletics 9-3, forcing the early morning “what if” games.
The games included, from early morning to evening:
So Cal Athletics defeated Sorcerer 3-0
Courage defeated Combat Panthers 6-5
Killer Bees defeated Wichita Mustangs 10-5
Texas Impact defeated Combat Panthers 11-0
Killer Bees defeated Texas Glory 5-4 (8)
Texas Impact defeated Killer Bees 6-0
Texas Impact defeated Sorcerer 2-0
OC Batbusters defeated Corona Angels Marty 2-0
Pumas defeated Explosion 7-2
Choppers defeated Cruisers 5-1
Teamsmith defeated Pumas 1-0
Georgia Elite defeated Choppers 2-0
Georgia Elite defeated Team Smih 2-0
Corona Angels Marty defeated Georgia Elite 4-2
Texas Impact handed Batbusters first loss 8-2
Corona Angels handed So Cal Athletics first loss 9-3
Random Game Notes
Texas Impact 11, Combat Panthers 0. WP Rachel Fox. Impact scored two in 1st, 5 runs in 3rd to lead 7-0. Nicole Morgan drove in 2 runs, victory capped by Cassandra Barefield home run.
So Cal Athletics 3, Sorcerer 0. Kayla Massey pitched for SCA’s, Sammy Albanese for Sorcerer. SCA’s led 3-0 before Sorcerer rallied late. In 1st, Danica Mercado beat out an infield hit, scored on Taylor Cantillo single. Jenna Kelly jacked a 2-run homer.
Texas Impact 6, Killer Bees 0. WP Katie Marks. Impact took early 3-0 lead, including Erin Shireman 2-run double. Megan Coronado scored in 5th on Taran Tyler rbi. Impact snuffed a KB rally with a 6-6-3 double play in 5th. Nicole Morgan drove in last 2 runs.
Corona Angels Marty 4, Georgia Elite 2. Lefty Jessica Hall kept the Georgians scoreless until bottom 5th when Heidi Shape homered. Elite loaded bases in 6th and Samantha Lenahan drove in Gabrielle Bedard but couldn’t close the deal. Stephany La Rosa homered for Angels. Lindsey Anderson pitched for Elite (when SPY watched 6th and 7th).
OC Batbusters 2, Corona Angels 0. Masterful game by 2012 Nancy Bowling (Arizona) who shut down Angels on one hit and a walk. Jessica Hall pitched for Angels.
Texas Impact 2, Sorcerer 0. WP Rachel Fox (Texas). Nicole Morgan drove in a run in 1st with a ground-rule double. Cassandra Barefield drove in the second run in the 4th with a sacrifice fly. SPY credited Fox with 11 Ks, four in a row at one point.
Corona Angels 9, So Cal Athletics 3. Jessica Hall pitched complete game for Angels. Mariah Ramirez was charged with 6 runs, Mandie Sugita 3. Nicole Girard had four rbi for Angels. Alexis Mercado hit solo HR for SCA’s.
Texas Impact 8, OC Batbusters 2. Rachel Fox pitched a complete game for Impact. Nancy Bowling started for OCB but was in immediate difficulty against the emotionally charged Impact. Emily Albus scored the first run on an error. Taran Tyler scored on Nicole Morgan’s rbi. Bottom 3rd: Cassie Tysarczyk drove in 2 runs with a ground-rule double. Erin Shireman followed with a 2-run ground-rule double. OCB substituted Arianna Erceg to pitch the 4th. Batbusters rallied top 6th. Brittany Moeai scored on an error by the 3rd baseman, and Erika Campbell drove in the second run with a double. Bottom 6th: Megan Coronado singled to open the frame, and advanced on a sac bunt by Albus. Brittany Clopton reached on an error. Tyler drove in the final run.