OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The start of the 2014 ASA/USA Softball National Championship season is underway as two teams were crowned National Champions over the weekend the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. Wagners GOLD- Dunn claimed the ASA/USA Softball 18U GOLD National title in Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon with a 7-2 victory over Lil Rebels 96 while the TN Fury 97 claimed the inaugural 16U GOLD National Championship with a 7-2 win over Tulsa Elite 98 in the if-necessary game in Broken Arrow.
"The feeling of winning an ASA/USA National Championship can't be described," said TN Fury 97 Head Coach Randy Coppinger. "This is our second ASA/USA National Championship, but the feeling never gets old. When you win an ASA/USA National Championship, you know you've earned something special."
18U GOLD Championship: Wagners GOLD Dunn 7, Lil Rebels 96 2
This year’s winner’s bracket champion, after placing second in last year’s championship, Wagners came to OKC this year ready to take home the title. Entering the tournament double elimination bracket after going 2-1 in pool play warm up games, Wagners outscored opponents 58-16 throughout the week and tallied a 9-1 overall record. They recorded a team batting average of .327 and were led by Aleshia Ocasio who hit .543 for the week with 13 runs scored and a .579 on base percentage. From the circle, it was all Ocasio as well as she tossed 40.1 innings with five wins and 41 strikeouts.
In the championship game, Wagners Gold Dunn jumped on Lil Rebels 96 early on its way to the 7-2 win on Saturday, scoring three runs in the first inning. Wagners scored in the first on an error, a passed ball, and an RBI single by . McGuire racked up two RBI on two hits for Wagners in the championship victory.
One run in the top of the second helped Lil Rebels 96 close its deficit to 3-1. A sacrifice fly by gave Lil Rebels 96 life, but Ocasio got to end the rally when she was called for being out of the batter's box. Wagners quickly matched Lil Rebels 96's strong inning with a one-run inning of its own in the second to take a 4-2 lead. Wagners took advantage of a fielder’s choice miscue scoring Janae Perera, who earlier reached on a base hit bunt. After pushing across one run in the top of the third, Lil Rebels 96 faced just a 4-2 deficit. An error sparked Lil Rebels 96's rally. The Lil Rebels 96 threat came to an end when Ocasio finally got to ground out.
It didn't take long for Wagners to respond as they scored again in the third on a sacrifice fly by plating Brittany McGuire who was hit by a pitch. Wagners added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth when McGuire kicked things off with a double, scoring Ocasio. then doubled bringing home McGuire to give Wagners the eventual 7-2 victory.
From the circle, Ocasio recorded the win for the Wagners while Jacquelyn Sertic was saddled with the lost allowing four earned runs.
Below are top seven team finishes in the Championship:
1. Wagners GOLD Dunn
2. Lil Rebels 96
3. Beverly Bandits DeMarini
4. Houston Power Glowacz
T5. St. Louis Chaos – Beatty
T5. Southern Force
16U GOLD Championship: TN Fury 97 7, Tulsa Elite 98 2
After forcing the if-necessary game with a 10-9, extra inning victory over the undefeated Tulsa Elite 98, the TN Fury 97 captured their second ASA/USA National Championship with a 7-2 win to capture the first ever ASA/USA 16U GOLD National Championship title. The TN Fury 97 finished the week long tournament with a 10-2 record, with one loss occurring in pool play and the second loss at the hands of the Tulsa Elite 98 in the winners bracket finals. The TN Fury 97 also outscored opponents 117-31.
The TN Fury 97 were led by Libby Sugg, who collected 23 RBI with four home runs and 11 runs scored, finishing the tournament with a .583 batting average. From the circle, Brianna Jones led the way with a 3-2 record, issuing 25 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched with a 2.39 ERA.
A four first-inning runs helped TN Fury 97 to a 7-2 win over Tulsa Elite 98 on Saturday in the if-necessary game. Libby Sugg racked up three RBI on one hit for TN Fury 97, hitting a three-run homer in the first inning.
TN Fury 97 relied on Jordan Fortel in the if-necessary game as Fortel pitched all seven innings and allowed two earned runs, six hits and one walk while striking out two.
Taylor Compton lasted one-third of an inning on the rubber for Tulsa Elite 98, surrendering four hits and four runs. Erica Battiest entered in relief during the first inning, issuing one strikeout, five hits and three runs in her 6.2 innings of work.
TN Fury 97 increased its lead with two runs in the sixth. Jordan Fortel started the inning with a single, bringing home Katie Corum. That was followed up with a steal of home by Alyssa Coppinger.
Two runs in the bottom of the sixth helped Tulsa Elite 98 close its deficit to 7-2. A passed ball and a sacrifice fly by Devin Hale sparked Tulsa Elite 98's rally.
Below are top seven team finishes in the Championship:
1. TN Fury 97
2. Tulsa Elite 98
3. Indy Dreams - Montgomery
4. TN Fury 98
T5. Impact GOLD - Elder
T5. Aces Express - Clements
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/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men's, Women’s, Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women's National Team is one of the only two women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.