The Tigard Blast ages 12U ASA Softball Team swept all six games at the Hood View Summer Sizzler this weekend and won the Gold Division Championship.
The Blast began Saturday pool play with a 9-0 win against North Clackamas. Hannah Self and Caroline Riggs led the way with two hits apiece. Blast pitchers Kaity Nunn and Megan Walker limited the Rebels to two hits, while walking one.
Next up was the Eugene Heat. Two Tigard girls, Walker and Brooke Pilant hit triples and Maria Mitchell hit a home run to get the team going. Shortstop Amanda Reser had three RBI on a deep hit in the fifth inning. Pitchers Walker and Riggs held the Heat to six runs in the 17-6 win.
Saturday's final game, with the Beaverton Blaze, turned into a pitchers' duel. The Blast started out the game with a triple by Self, who then scored on a groundout by Riggs for a quick 1-0 lead. In the second inning, Cassie Erickson stole back-to-back bases on consecutive pitches, and then made it home on a passed ball.
Mitchell scored the final Blast run in the sixth inning by leading off with a double into right field, and then scoring on a single by Riggs. Nunn limited Beaverton Blaze to three hits over six and a half innings, striking out four in the 3-0 win.
The three wins pushed the Blast into the Gold winner's bracket for Sunday play. First up was the Washington Stealth of Vancouver. The Blast, with Self hitting the first pitch of the game for a triple, jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead. The team scored three more in the third on hits by Brynna Tonole and Walker, and then scored five more in the fourth inning including a grand slam by Walker to take a decisive 16-1 win.
That pushed the team into the semifinals, where they faced another Beaverton team. Beaverton used four consecutive hits and a walk to pull ahead 5-0 in the fourth inning.
After struggling through the first three innings, Blast hitters heated up, and following a walk and a hit batter, six straight batters drove the ball into the outfield, scoring six runs to take a one run lead. The team didn't let up, pushing two more runs across in the fifth and six in the sixth for a 14-7 win and a ticket to the Gold Division title tilt.
Abi Olson and Hannah Spadafora were each 3 for 4 in the game, and Erickson went 4 for 4 with three singles and a triple.
The title game was a rematch of the previous night's tilt with the Beaverton Blaze, but this time, both teams set about scoring runs. Blaze used five hits to score three quick first inning runs, but the Blast settled down and responded by scoring two of their own in the bottom of the inning.
In the third, Self opened up with a double, then stole second base. Mitchell walked and stole second as Self headed to third, and Riggs drove them both in with a single to right as the Blast took a 4-3 lead. Blaze scored two more in the fifth for a 5-4 lead, but the Blast wasn't done, and capped the game off with four runs in the bottom of the fifth for an 8-5 lead.
Nunn came into the game in relief and struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth inning for the win and the championship trophy.
The Blast is now 44-11-1 on the season, and has taken home Gold Division trophies in eight of its nine tournaments this year.