Spartanburg, S.C. – The championships are set for the 2020 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup as 30 teams duked it out today for the opportunity to compete for their respective division’s coveted USA Softball JO Cup title, which will be streamed through MLB.com. The competition proved fierce, with 5-of-6 bracket Championships going to an “if-necessary” contest to determine the two finalists in each of the 14-Under, 16-Under and 18-Under divisions.
In the end, it will be Florida Impact 05 – Gatewood and Mojo 2024 – Ross in the 14-Under division, TN Mojo and Gold Coast Hurricanes – Hammonds in the 16-Under division and Wildfire 18U – Paulson and LLG DPS – Corn in the 18-Under division who will have the opportunity to compete for a USA Softball JO Cup trophy.
In the 14-Under division, Florida Impact 05 – Gatewood was the first team to punch their ticket to a Championship Game after a perfect run in the 14-Under B bracket. The team’s 16-1 (three innings), no-hit win over the Lady Sluggers – Swiderski sealed their spot in tomorrow’s 9:30 a.m. ET 14-Under title game. Genesis Duran and Kendall Wylie each had four RBI in the win, hitting a double and triple, respectively. Wylie pulled double duty in the contest, throwing a no-hitter from the circle.
Joining Florida Impact 05 – Gatewood from the 14-Under A bracket is Mojo 2024 - Ross, who had an undefeated run at the JO Cup until their bracket Championship contest when TN Mojo 2023 handed them a 2-1 loss. Mojo 2024 – Ross bounced back, plating three runs in the top of the seventh in the “if-necessary” game after a double by Kamryn Radley, which drove in a pair of runs to lock-in the 4-2 win.
In the 16-Under division, TN Mojo dropped their first winner’s bracket game of the day, 6-2, against the Atlanta Vipers - Billings, sending them to the loser’s bracket against the Tampa Mustangs who previously eliminated the Ohio Outlaws Premier – Schmieser in their first game of the day. After edging past the Mustangs with a 7-6 win, TN Mojo advanced to the semifinals to face the Atlanta Vipers for the second time today, this time coming out on top with a 3-0 victory to force the “if-necessary” game. With a 1-1 record against each other on the day, TN Mojo proved victorious in their final match up against the Vipers, claiming a 1-0 win to advance to the 16-Under JO Cup Championship tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. ET.
In the 16-Under B bracket, GA Hotshots Premier battled through the loser’s bracket, picking up a pair of wins to advance to the semifinals match up against undefeated Gold Coast Hurricanes – Hammonds who earlier defeated the EC Bullets 7-3. A four-run seventh inning rally in the semifinals contest would earn GA Hotshots the 5-4 win to force the “if-necessary” game against the Gold Coast Hurricanes. In their second-straight matchup of the day, Gold Coast Hurricanes exploded with a 15-3 (five innings) run-rule to seal the deal and advance to the 16-Under Championship game against TN Mojo tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. ET. The Hurricane offense showcased a total of 13 hits with Madison Bratek going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI to end the day.
Fighting their way through the 18-Under A loser’s bracket with three back-to-back wins was the Wildfire 18U – Paulson, scoring an explosive total of 21 runs in their three elimination games. The Wildfire recorded their first win of the day with a 5-0 shutout over PA Chaos before eliminating the Indiana Fusion Elite - Pinkston with a seventh-inning, two-run walk-off homerun from Jadeyn Ruszkowski. The Wildfire offense continued to shine in their third game of the day, defeating GA Power Gold - Roddy/Worley 12-4 to earn a spot in the semifinal game against the undefeated Carolina Cardinals - Chandler. Wildfire kept the winning streak alive against the Cardinals, claiming a 3-2 thriller to force the “if-necessary” game. Their fifth-straight game in a row was the sweetest of all, exploding with a 11-2 (five innings), run-rule victory to earn their spot in the 18-Under Championship finale. The Wildfire offense stole the show in their final contest of the day, plating two or more runs in three of the five innings.
On the other side of the bracket, Atlanta Vipers - Trowell/Ray battled through two elimination games with dominant defensive performances, limiting their opponents to just one run a piece. The Vipers totaled 10 runs and 16 hits while fighting through the loser’s bracket, eliminating Georgia Impact 2020-21 – Ryman/Caldwell and Williamsburg Starz Gold - Bunn 5-1 to advance to the semifinals against undefeated LLG DPS - Corn. The Vipers went on to claim their third-straight win of the day, edging past LLG with a 2-1 victory to force the “if-necessary” game. With the winner advancing to the title game, LLG proved victorious in the final contest of the day with a four-run third inning that punched their ticket to the 18-Under Championship game against the Wildfire, slated for tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Live streaming for the Championship contests will be through MLB.com.