Clearwater, Fla. --- Wet weather made an appearance at the ASA/USA Softball 18U GOLD National Championship in Clearwater, Fla., but despite the isolated storms over the last two days, play continued with six teams battling through the competition to earn their spot in Saturday's playoffs. The Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex hosted five days of action leading into Saturday's match-ups, including two days worth of pool play and the past three days consisting of the double-elimination bracket play.
Only two teams remain undefeated entering into tomorrow's winner's bracket final, the Rock 18U GOLD (Holland, Penn.) and the Atlanta Vipers - Giles (Kennesaw, Ga.), both 5-0.
The Rock 18U GOLD come into Saturday having outscored opponents 34-2 in bracket play. Cassidy Boyle leads the offense, compiling a .533 (8-for-15) batting average and three RBI while teammate Nicole Alden has collected three home runs and five RBI. The ROCK also boast a strong pitching staff, issuing 25 strikeouts and allowing only two runs to cross the plate for a combined ERA of 0.44.
For the Atlanta Vipers - Giles, strong pitching and clutch hitting have helped them to a perfect record. On the mound, their pitchers have combined for 51 strikeouts and have a team ERA of 0.85. At the plate, Sam Pierannunzi leads the team, batting .500( 6-for-12) with one RBI and going a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases. Three players have one home run each, and Miranda Strother has a team-high four RBI.
From the loser’s bracket , four teams will battle on Saturday morning having to win three games to reach the 2:30 p.m. championship game. Wagner's GOLD Dunn will open the day facing Texas Aces Express GOLD at 8:30 a.m. on Field #1 while Tulsa Elite 95 and the Fury 95 Andrus will square off at the same time on Field 3.
For complete bracket, results, live streaming links and statistics from all games at the 18U GOLD, visit USASoftball.com.