Friday at the World Fastpitch Championship brought heartache and the very best joy. As teams were eliminated throughout the day, girls either rose to the challenge or fell in competition.
The level of softball that the 12U division has had is one to be watched by all.
One of the last games of the night was the semifinal game between the OC Batbusters (Garcia) and Impact Gold.
Impact Gold lost early in the day, but fought its way through the losers bracket to earn a spot in the semifinal.
The game was tight. Pitcher for the Batbusters, Lacie Ham, was steady under pressure. She only allowed one run to cross the plate early in the game. She continued to dominate, totaling 105 pitches in the game.
“I think we came together as a team and worked together so well. We did not compete as individuals. We came together as a team and won every game,” Ham said.
The Batbusters took advantage of a few base hits to score two of their runs that ultimately won them the game.
Head coach Chris Garcia helped his girls keep their eyes on the prize. “It comes down to our practices and it comes down to us asking them to give us their perfect effort. We have tough practices. It is not easy to be a Batbuster,” Garcia said.
As for tomorrow’s championship game, Garcia is confident in his girls. “We just need to play our game and do what we do. We have been training since September for this. This is their time. They need to execute and go have some fun,” Garcia said.
The Tennessee Mojo and the Georgia Impact competed in the other semifinal game.
The Tennessee Mojo took the first game 6-1 with their hot bats and solid pitching. The dugout was ecstatic about forcing an ‘if’ game.
In the second game, both teams put it all on the line. The Georgia Impact scored two, but in the fifth and sixth inning Tennessee answered the call and scored two runs to get ahead. They scored their final run in the top of the seventh inning, putting pressure on the Georgia Impact.
In the end, the Georgia Impact hit a double to advance the final runner on base and win 4-3. One major player in this game was Sarah Currie for the Impact. Her strike percentage was 67 percent for her 103 pitch game.
Head coach Jason Gusaeff smiles and hugs his players as the team celebrates by second base.
“We are pretty excited. It is just mentally and physically draining and to get to the finals is an accomplishment that these kids deserve and have worked hard for,” Gusaeff said.
When asked how he will prepare for tomorrow, Gusaeff said, “We got to get through tonight first.”
The Georgia Impact and the OC Batbusters (Garcia) will play at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning and it will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
Continue to follow the action on our social media : @USAEliteSelect and @USAES_WFC