The final day of competition at the TC/USA Nationals held in the Atlanta area saw champions crowned in the 18U, 16U and 14U age divisions.
Here’s a recap written by Kyle Koso of Triple Crown Sports detailing the 18U win of Greg Schnute’s East Cobb Bullets, which easily looks like one of the top 18U teams in the country.
One of the hitting stars was Kassidy Krupit who played second base in the game and had a pair of doubles with four RIB. The Baylor-bound standout texted Extra Inning Softball afterwards saying simply:
“Yes! We got the dub (as in “W” for win)!”
Lexi Kilfoyl, one of the team’s standout pitchers, admitted that, despite the lopsided score, it wasn’t an easy road to get the title: “It was definitely a very long day and… I am feeling very exhausted, no doubt about that! But we won and being as it was the third game of the day, it was easy to see all the pitchers were very tired and (our) hitting really helped the game out a lot.”
That it did as the Georgia-based East Cobb Bullets claimed the victory on its home turf and showed the country that it can beat you with strong pitching and hitting.
Friday, we’ll recap the other divisions… but for now, hats off to Greg Schnute’s Bullets champions!
Playing Beyond their years, EC Bullets win TC/USA 18 Open title
If the East Cobb Bullets-Schnute 18's are looking for a nickname, they might want to consider the Boomerangs.
This is a team you'd expect to see return for more.
With a young roster featuring 14 players who will likely suit up next year, the Bullets wrapped up an impressive run in the TC/USA Nationals on Thursday, winning a tight, tense 18 Open semifinal before storming past the Texas Bombers Gold in the championship game, 20-8, at Fowler Park in Cumming, GA.
It's unusual to see a title game at this level finish with a run-rule, but the Bullets have that look of a squad that can blow past other's expectations. They took a four-run lead against the Bombers, then batted around the next two innings to drain away any drama, in comparison to their 5-4 win over the ScrapYard Internationals in the semis.
Kassidy Krupit (heading to Baylor this fall) had two doubles, two runs and four RBI for the Bullets; Neely Peterson (Colorado State), Anslee Finch (Troy University) and Madi Perry each had three RBI and Leea Hanks (Notre Dame) dazzled at the leadoff spot with three hits, three runs and two RBI.
"The (semifinal) showed that every little bit of effort we give, matters. That was a game that had us thinking, we don't want to be in that situation again," Krupit said. "Perseverance is a good word for us ... earlier in the tournament we were down 6-0 to the North Carolina Bandits, had an awful first inning, but we came back. Same as in the semis; they knocked in runs, we came back and got the W. We wanted to push through anything."
The Bombers did touch Alabama-bound pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl for several runs, but any lift from those moments was quickly undercut by another burst of Bullets offense.
"We were pretty hyped for the final. After the semi, we were upbeat, and we'd played the Bombers before so it was nothing new," said Perry, who reached base four times and is circling a new college option after a coaching change at Kennesaw State compelled her to start the process again. "You don't want to get up by that much and let the other team back in, but we were both hitting, and I think everyone was tired. I just go up there and try to swing at strikes, hit the ball and not think too much."
The Bullets scored six runs in the second inning, seven in the third and three more in the fourth; pitcher Callie Turner (Tennessee) allowed one hit and struck out two in her inning of work that sealed the game after the top of the fifth.
"After playing so many games in a short period of time, pitching will be down a bit and hitting is something we continued to do. We can swing the bats, and I thought we did a good job doing that," said head coach Greg Schnute. "We are very young, with great young pitching, and they set the table for us. We hit it pretty good, and that's a huge advantage."
For the Bombers, Tori Whillock (Texas) had two hits, two runs and an RBI, the same stats line as Chloe Cobb (Texas Tech). Kayla Garcia (Texas A&M) added two hits and two RBI.
-- by Kyle Koso, Triple Crown Sports