HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – The 2021 USA Softball Men’s Class AA and Women’s Open Slow Pitch National Championships concluded today with the crowning of two Champions. In the Men’s Class AA division, Thunder/Chosen/All American Restoration lifted up the trophy after forcing an “if-necessary” game and defeating Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals 28-20 to clinch the title. MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics claimed the 2021 Women’s Open Slow Pitch National Championship title and posted a perfect 4-0 record through the tournament, capping out the weekend with a 14-1 (five innings) Championship win over Smash It Sports/Derby Girls/Easton.
In the Men’s Class AA Division, Daddy Rocks/Hoffman/Dutech/S&S and Thunder/Chosen/All American Restoration met for the second time in the tournament as they faced-off in the semi-final contest at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Both teams got on the board in the first inning, but after Thunder’s nine-spot in the second they left Daddy Rocks in the dust. Another big inning in the third extended Thunder’s lead before they sealed the 25-3 run-rule victory after four innings. Travis Clark, Brian McBryde, and Kyle Pearson each hit two home runs apiece with Pearson leading the Thunder with six RBI.
The Thunder entered the Championship game against Juno Athletics needing to win in order to force an “if-necessary” game and complete their quest for the title. This proved to be no issue for the Thunder as they got to work and scored a quick four runs in the first inning. Sending seven home runs out of the park including a grand slam from Bradley Jones, the Thunder racked up a total of 19 hits to take down Juno Athletics 18-11 and force another game.
In the final game of the 2021 USA Softball Men’s Class AA Slow Pitch National Championship, both teams came out swinging and put up 13 combined runs in the first inning of play. Juno Athletics cooled off in the second, but the Thunder stayed hot and pushed 12 runners across the plate, putting them ahead 21-6. Nineteen home runs were hit in the title game as each team had 24 hits apiece. The Thunder had multiple chances to walk-off the game via run-rule but were unable to take advantage of the opportunities. Juno Athletics threatened a comeback in the top of the seventh, but they fell short as the Thunder walked away with the 28-20 victory and the National Championship title.
Pearson led the Thunder with a .696 batting average and 10 home runs with 22 RBI over the course of the tournament. Pearson finished third on the team in hits with 16 while Austyn Dawe accounted for 17 hits and Jones led the Thunder with 18.
2021 Men's Class AA Slow Pitch All-Americans:
Kevin Bazat (Thunder/SIS/Chosen/All American/Menosse/RDD/S&S)
Austyn Dawe (Thunder/SIS/Chosen/All American/Menosse/RDD/S&S)
John Dombrowski (Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals)
Brandon Hooks (Monsta Black Sheep/Texas5/Monsta Athletics)
Tristan Johnston (Daddy Rocks/Ductech/Hoffman/S&S)
Bradley Jones (Thunder/SIS/Chosen/All American/Menosse/RDD/S&S)
Erik Kanaby (Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals)
Brian McBryde (Thunder/SIS/Chosen/All American/Menosse/RDD/S&S)
Ryan McClanahan (Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals)
Kyle Pearson (Thunder/SIS/Chosen/All American/Menosse/RDD/S&S)
Josh Riley (Thunder/SIS/Chosen/All American/Menosse/RDD/S&S)
Jeff Roxby (Daddy Rocks/Ductech/Hoffman/S&S)
Filip Washington (Monsta Black Sheep/Texas5/Monsta Athletics)
Johnathon Williams (Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals)
Jeremy Yates (Daddy Rocks/Ductech/Hoffman/S&S)
2021 Men's Class AA Slow Pitch Home Run Champion: Kyle Pearson (10), Jeremy Yates (10)
2021 Men's Class AA Slow Pitch Batting Champion: Filip Washington (0.857)
2021 Men's Class AA Slow Pitch MVP: Kyle Pearson
The loser’s bracket kicked off the Women’s Open division on Championship Sunday as Smash It Sports/Derby Girls/Easton took down Low Bobs/Shirts&Logos 12-5. Smash It Sports struck first when Fiana Finau drove a three-run shot over the center field fence in the third at-bat of the game. The damage continued with three singles, a double, and a sac fly to extend the Smash It Sports lead to 5-0. Low Bobs put up a run in the bottom of the frame but was unable to catch up as Smash It Sports continued tacking on runs throughout the game. Mandy Hollman homered in the sixth to score Smash It Sports’ final run of the contest, putting them up 12-4 after the sixth. Low Bobs attempted a rally in their final three outs by scoring on a sacrifice fly, but a ground out would end the game and give Smash It Sports the victory, sending them to the semi-final contest.
Smash It Sports continued their hot streak by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning against La Famiglia/Easton/Riot. The lowest scoring game of the tournament, Smash It Sports was able to pull-off the 8-2 win and advance to the Championship game. Megan Baltzell led Smash It Sports by going 2-3 with two home runs and three RBI in the contest.
In their third and final game of the day, Smash It Sports faced-off against MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics to battle it out for the Championship title. MPT Rentals wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Defense was also on point for MPT Rentals as they retired Smash It Sports in order in each of the first three innings. MPT Rentals kept their foot on the gas while Megan Higginbotham went 3-4 with three RBI to lead MPT Rentals to a 14-1 (five innings) victory as they claimed the 2021 Women’s Open Slow Pitch National Championship title.
Bernadette Tenuto led MPT Rentals with 11 hits and a .786 batting average throughout the weekend. Haylee Leatherwood and Higginbotham each tallied eight hits in the tournament with Higginbotham scoring a team-leading eight runs.
2021 Women's Open Slow Pitch All-Americans:
Megan Baltzell (Smash It Sports/Derby Girls/Easton)
Kacey Britt (La Famiglia/Easton/Riot)
Bethany Brown (Smash It Sports/Derby Girls/Easton)
Fiana Finau (Smash It Sports/Derby Girls/Easton)
Megan Higginbotham (MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics)
Mandy Hollman (Smash It Sports/Derby Girls/Easton)
Kaylnn Johnson (MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics)
Heather Leatherfield (MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics)
Desiree Mejia (La Famiglia/Easton/Riot)
Amber Parrish (Team 24/Proton)
Robin Pettit (BSC Dynasty)
Bree Setree (Low Bobs/Shirts&Logos)
Bernadette Tenuto (MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics)
Loren Thomas (MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics)
Kylie Wolfe (MPT Rentals/AOB/Juno Athletics)
2021 Women’s Open Slow Pitch Home Run Champion: Megan Baltzell (5)
2021 Women’s Open Slow Pitch Batting Champion: Amber Parrish (0.750)
2021 Women’s Open Slow Pitch MVP: Bernadette Tenuto