OKLAHOMA CITY – The Softball Capital of the World ® hosted the championship matchups today to round out play of the 2022 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup. A field of 41 teams hit the dirt starting earlier this week in the pursuit of hoisting the coveted trophy on this championship Saturday.
The 16-Under and 18-Under Championship games kicked off this morning with the 16-Under finalists, Turnin2 Pezz and Turnin2 National Maloney, followed by the 18-Under finalists, Lady Lightning Gold DPS Corn versus Stars National Coleman/Belfield. It was an exciting atmosphere as MLB.com came in to cover the pair of matchups with all teams’ talents on full display.
The 16-Under division was a showcase of timely hitting and steady play with Turnin2 Pezz securing a 10-2 run-rule victory over Turnin2 National Maloney. The scoring opened early for Turnin2 Pezz with a walk to start the first followed by a single that put runners on first and second with no outs. Situational softball proved to be successful as Brooklyn Patchen laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Macy Chamberlin then came up big for Turnin2 Pezz with a two RBI double to start the scoring. The swings were still hot for Turnin2 Pezz as they extended their lead to 7-0 scoring four more runs on four hits in the second inning. Turnin2 National Maloney broke through the sheet putting up two runs in the top of the fourth by stringing base hits together and shortening the lead to 7-2. Despite their best efforts, the bats for Turnin2 Pezz were too hot to handle tacking on three more runs in their journey to lift the trophy. The highlight performance by Turnin2 Pezz’s Macy Chamberlin included a 3-3 day at the plate reaching five total bases, two doubles, and one single while knocking in half of her team’s runs.
Turnin2 National Maloney concludes their Junior Olympic (JO) Cup run with an overall 8-2 record and extremely impressive numbers. They totaled a combination of 105 hits, four homeruns, 62 runners batted in, and 68 runs scored in 10 games of play. In the circle, their pitching staff only gave up 16 runs and 36 hits throughout those 10 games while also striking out 55 batters. Their defense held strong finishing with a .971 fielding percentage on the week. Turnin2 Pezz leaves Hall of Fame Stadium Complex the 16-Under Junior Olympic (JO) Cup champions with a 7-0-1 record stacking up 69 hits, counting 51 singles, and plating 48 runs. Defensively they held strong with a .976 fielding percentage behind their pitchers who had a combined .92 ERA in the tournament.
The 18-Under division proved to be a tight battle for the championship with Stars National Coleman/Belfield completing a comeback victory in eight innings, 7-3, to top Lady Lightning Gold DPS Corn. Both teams were held scoreless through the first two innings until the Lady Lightning Gold DPS Corn broke through on a ground ball to third with the runner advancing on the throw. Lady Lightning Gold DPS Corn tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third before Stars National Coleman/Belfield responded in the top of the fourth with two runs themselves. In the fifth, Stars National Coleman/Belfield rallied to tie the game on a clutch single by Rita Nuss scoring Briyanna Wright. The score remained deadlocked at three forcing extra innings where Stars National Coleman/Belfield broke it open in the top of the eighth by scoring four runs on four hits to put the game out of reach. Their momentum continued with a 1-2-3 half-inning to secure the win. A breakout performance by Kaylyn Kyle throwing a complete game, striking out five players, and only allowing three hits would help Stars National Coleman/Belfield capture the trophy.
Lady Lightning Gold DPS Corn had a remarkable performance in this year’s Junior Olympic (JO) Cup posting a 6-2 record, recording 77 hits, and a .336 team batting average. The pitching staff held steady fanning 37 batters and only allowing 33 hits throughout the tournament. The 18-Under Champions, Stars National Coleman/Belfield, held a 6-3 record through the tournament amounting 68 collective hits, a .424 batting average with six homeruns, and 14 extra base hits. In the field, pitchers posted 55 strikeouts while the defense supported them with a .940 fielding percentage to finish the week.