Oregon Breeze out-hit, fall from Nationals competition
Scappoose's Hannah Galey finishes with 15 hits, 3 home runs
A brilliant run through the state and national tournaments came to an abrupt end for the Oregon Breeze at the ASA 16U National Championships in Salem over the weekend.
The Breeze, who feature five players from Columbia County including four returning players to Scappoose's softball team had polished off all three teams in pool play to begin the national tournament at Wallace Marine Park on the Willamette River in West Salem.
They thumped the first team in bracket play, Texas Glory, 13-2, and topped Kansas City-based Originals Self 7-2 last Thursday afternoon. Galey finished four of four from the plate against the Kansas side, Sage Harrison added two hits and Jessie Dykes had three hits and one RBI.
On Friday, July 24, Breeze finally met their match. After taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning, Breeze watched San Jose Sting score six consecutive runs in the next three innings to take a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The last chance fell of Galey, who was up to bat with two outs and a runner on second. A foul and a strike tilted the count toward the pitcher early on, and Galey eventually grounded out to second base for the Breeze's first loss in several weeks.
Breeze moved to the losers bracket, which is a longer and far more difficult road, but doesn't rule out the dream of making the national title game.
Now, every game was an elimination contest.
Just a few hours after their loss to San Jose, the game with Victory USA didn't begin as planned. Victory scored on a two-out double in the bottom of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead, but the Breeze's Victorya Stallworth led off with a solo home run in the top of the third inning.
Galey provided a big spark in the top of the fourth as Breeze looked to tie. Galey singled to center field on a two-strike line drive, and quickly stole her way to second on an error. Harrison, Galey's teammate at Scappoose High School, stepped to the plate and took a pitch before Galey stole third on an error at home plate. Then Harrison dropped a line drive in to center field, bringing Galey home to tie the game.
The bottom of the fifth was the undoing for Oregon Breeze. Victory quickly scored three runs with one out, taking a 5-2 lead, and re-loaded the bases before getting a hard ground ball to score two more runs and go up 7-2. A wild pitch and a two-out RBI single made it a seven-run deficit.
Galey did her best to pull Oregon Breeze back into things, knocking a two-run homer to center field in the top of the sixth, but Victory scored a 10th run in the bottom half of the frame and managed to stifle the Breeze on defense to close things in the seventh inning.
Galey finished with a team-high average of .682 for the tournament, in which Oregon Breeze finished 5-2. She struck out just two times in 22 at bats, and had 15 hits, three home runs, seven RBIs and nine runs scored. Harrison had a solid tournament as well, finishing with six hits, seven RBIs and a home run. Jessie Dykes had five hits, and Kendal Bailey had three hits and two RBIs. St. Helens' Abby Austin batted just five times, but was a big part of the Breeze's pitching efforts.
In all, the Oregon Breeze had 11 home runs in seven games, and scored 49 runs. The team they beat in the second round, Originals Self, went on to the championship and managed to take one game from Nebraska Gold Mizuno before Nebraska responded in the if game to take first place.
ASA 16U Gold Nationals
San Jose Sting 6, Oregon Breeze 4
ORE 022 000 0 4 9 3
SAN 003 210 x 6 9 2
Runs-hits-RBIs: Schorn 1-1-0, Sands 0-2-1, Penn 0-1-0, Gayle 1-1-0, Stallworth 1-2-2, Dykes 1-2-0
Hits-strikeouts: Austin 6-2, Penn 3-1; Walljasper 9-2
Victory USA 10, Oregon Breeze 4
ORE 001 102 0 4 7 4
VTR 020 071 x 10 10 2
Runs-hits-RBIs: Schorn 0-1-0, Penn 1-1-0, Galey 2-2-2, Harrison 0-1-1, Stallworth 1-1-1, Munson 0-1-0
HR: Stallworth, Galey
Hits-strikeouts: Bailey 6-1, Gayle 4-0; Ross 7-5, Jackson 0-1