Spartanburg, S.C. – The second and final day of pool play at the 2020 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup featured tightly-contested battles as teams competed in their final round of preliminary contests before bracket play begins tomorrow.
In the 14-Under division, it was another hot day in the circle as five teams recorded a shutout win: Lady Lightning Gold – McGowan, Georgia Impact – Lewis, Georgia Impact – Janney, Tampa Mustangs - Seymour and TN Mojo 2023. Picking up the biggest win of the day was the Lady Lightning Gold – McGowan, whose 13-0 (five innings) shutout over Florida Gold – John was fueled by a 2-for-3, four RBI performance from Jules Cuozzo, who doubled twice.
In total, 351 runs were scored through the 14-Under’s pool play, with Lady Lightning Gold Futures and FL Impact 05 - Gatewood each scoring 26 runs through the first two days of the tournament. Sixteen games were decided by three runs or less, while three games ended in a tie. Finishing pool play undefeated: Georgia Impact – Lewis, Lady Lightning Gold Futures and Mojo 2024 – Ross.
The 16-Under division closed out their day with 22 games, with eight games decided by one run and one game ending in a tie. Only two teams saw a double-digit number on the scoreboard today, as GA Hotshots – Premier and Lady Gators – Jackson battled until the final out with the Lady Gators winning 11-10 in the final round of games today. Today’s biggest wins: GA Power 16U topped Ohio Hawks – Lenos 9-1 (six innings) behind a 3-for-3, four RBI performance from Ansley Chiang, EC Bullets 2021 – Sensing shutout Missouri Stealth 8-0 (five innings) as Lillie Van Metre held the Stealth to just one hit in a complete-game win and Turnin2 captured a 9-1 (five innings) win over PA Strikers after Avery Wolverton sent a three-run blast out of the park to end the game.
In total, 369 runs were scored through the 16-Under’s pool play, with Turnin2 leading the division with 26 runs through the first two days of the tournament. Twenty-two games were decided by three runs or less, while two games ended in a tie. Finishing pool play undefeated: Turnin2, Gold Coast Hurricanes – Hammonds and Ohio Outlaws Premier – Schmieser.
In the 18-Under division, the 27 competing teams scored a total of 327 runs in their 42 pool play games with Indiana Fusion Elite 18U – Pinkston plating a high of 36 runs in four contests. The Fusion claimed the biggest win of the day, exploding with a 16-0 run-rule victory (five innings) over the Lady Lighting Gold – Pedy. Key contributors for the Fusion offense were Taryn Weddle and Jasmine Miller, each sending one out of the park with Weddle racking up seven RBI and Miller going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.
Pool play concluded in the 18-Under division with the Birmingham Vipers – Standifer, Ohio Outlaws – Hoffner and Williamsburg Starz – Bunn earning a perfect 3-0 record headed into bracket play. The Vipers wasted no time in their one game of the day, securing a 9-0 run-rule victory (five innings) over GA Power Gold – Berkhiser, meanwhile the Ohio Hawks and Williamsburg Starz recorded each of their wins by a single run.
Double elimination bracket play with begin tomorrow, July 28 at 8:30 a.m. ET with the Championship contests scheduled to take place on Friday, July 31. Live stats and coverage will be available all week long at USASoftball.com with live streaming from HiCast continuing through Thursday, July 30. Click here or download the HiCast Sports mobile app to watch all the action. Live streaming with continue on Friday, July 31 with Major League Network stepping in to cover all the Championship action on MLB.com.