By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Little League softball has had a tough times getting in regular season games in 2018 due to the rain, but their tournament was a different story. The best game of the season was played on Thursday before a large gathering of fans at Ralph Stout Park between the Cardinals and White Sox.
The end result was a come-from-behind 12-11 win for the State Farm Cardinals. It was a fitting way to cap off the successful season.
The Cards, who finished in second place during the regular season struggled to take down the lower seeded Sox; fourth in league play. The White Sox barely got by the Diamond Backs 19-18 in the first round and won big over the first place Dodgers on Tuesday who was minus their two best players.
“It’s been a great year for softball,” said Cardinals manager Chris Baird. “We added an extra team and the league we all were pretty balanced. Our kids didn’t quit tonight despite only have eight players. It was an uphill battle, but we played well at the end where it mattered most.”
The Cards had to take an out in the nine spot each time that player would have batted, but they didn’t let it spoil their party.
They scored a pair of runs in the first inning after Chloe Ballard and Lexi Proffitt both singled and crossed the dish.
The White Sox duplicated that feat in their first at-bat. Harley Potter and Zennia Bouchelle both scored after reaching on a base hit and walk.
The Cardinals kept applying the pressure by scoring four more times in the second inning.
Ashlyn Beam and Ballard got things started with base hits apiece. Proffitt plated one with a solid single while Eden Potter brought home two more with a booming double.
The Horns kept applying the pressure in the third inning.
Proffitt and Ballard singled to up their margin at 8-2 but back came the Sox in a fury.
Emma Dugger, Kindal Watson, Bouchelle, Shayden Keith, Emma Savery, Meleah Johnson and Madeline Bendon all reached base and scored putting the Sox on top 9-8.
A two-run double by Bouchelle in the fifth scored Watson, and Harley Potter that upped their advantage at 11-8 but back came the Cardinals for the second time.
Ballard and Kyla Hensley all walked and scored in the fifth to pull them within one at 11-10.
Sarah Warlock and Beam led off the Cards final at-bat with a pair of walks. Singles by Ballard and Kayla Henley would be enough for the Cards to celebrating their 12-11, championship trophy.
Ballard had a monster game for the Cards going 5-for-5, scoring four runs and pitched the win. Proffitt added a 3-for-3 performance, scored four runs and was on base five times. Kayla Henley collected a pair of base hits and scored twice. Potter, Shawna Arnold, Warlock and Beam added one
Bouchelle provided two hits and drove in four runs to
lead the White Sox. Harley Potter had the only other hit. The Sox scored six runs after batters had walked and three more on hit batters. Emma Savery provided them a stellar defensive game at third base by making three huge plays that prevented the Cards from scoring two runs.
“The league came a long way from the first of the season,” said White Sox manager Clay Savery. “I think we can be a pretty good feeder program for the junior high if we can keep our numbers up. The girls are working hard to try and get
better. I’m very proud of our team.”