BOULDER — The SoCal Athletics weren't satisfied with how they began their run at the Louisville Slugger Boulder Independence Day Tournament but they were thrilled with how it ended.
After going 3-3 in pool play, the Athletics won five straight games to reach the 18-under Boulder bracket championship game. At the Gerald Stazio Softball Fields on Sunday, the Athletics defeated the Texas Blaze, 3-1 to claim the 2016 Boulder IDT title.
"This is a big tournament and kind of shows you where you're at and sets you up for the rest of summer as you start pointing towards nationals," Athletics head coach Bruce Richardson said. "We've been coming up here for 20 years and this is maybe our fourth or fifth win. But the way we started out the week not playing well, for them to finish it off playing great shows some guts, some backbone. I'm really proud."
Starter Maddy Dwyer, who is committed to Stanford University heading into her senior year of high school, held the Blaze lineup to six hits while striking out four batters in five innings. After watching the Blaze average 8.4 runs per game in their first five elimination play games, Dwyer was more than pleased with her effort in the finals.
"I felt good," Dwyer said. "I knew they were a good hitting team and I was going to have to keep it off the plate and get them to chase pitches. I think I did a good job of that."
The Athletics took a one-run lead in the bottom of the third inning when Montana Dixon singled to score Naomi Hernandez. Blaze shortstop Tiana Oltmann scored to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning but the Athletics loaded the bases and pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth retake the lead less than 10 minutes before the 1-hour, 40-minute time limit ran out during the inning.
"This has been a really long week," Dwyer said. "I'm proud of everyone for even making it to the finals. Everyone knew we had to stay focused even though we were all fatigued and the sun was out but we did a good job of not letting the game or the weather get the better of us."
In the 18U Louisville bracket championship, the OC Batbusters Lara won 6-0 over the CA Nuggets. The EC Bullets out of Georgia claimed the 16U bracket championship with a 4-2 win over the SoCal Choppers. The OC Batbusters defeated the SoCal Choppers 7-5 in the 14U bracket championship game.
SoCal Athletics 3, Texas Blaze 1
At Gerald Stazio Softball Fields
Blaze 000 10 — 1 6 2
Athletics 001 02 — 3 6 0
W — Dwyer.
Blaze hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Fritsch 3-0-0-0, Hughston 2-0-0-0, White 1-0-0-0, McDowell 3-0-1-0, Seggern 2-0-2-0, Moore 2-0-0-0, McDonald 1-1-0-0, Oltmann 2-0-1-0, Schattle 2-0-1-1, Ellsworth 2-0-1-0. Totals 20-1-6-1.
Athletics hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Holcomb 3-0-0-0, Hernandez 2-2-1-0, Boesel 3-1-2-0, Dixon 2-0-1-1, Kumiyama 3-0-1-1, Gonzalez 3-0-0-1, Pacini 3-0-0-0, Allee 1-0-0-0, Diaz 2-0-1-0. Totals 22-3-6-3.
Blaze pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Zoch 3.2-6-3-3-2-1.
Athletics pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Dwyer 5-6-1-1-1-4.