The 2017 12U Bend Showdown packed the Pine Nursery Athletic Complex with competitive teams from around the PNW. With many A level teams showing up to play in the Central Oregon tournament, the promise of tough competition was realized early on.
Action started on Saturday morning with the Avalanche 12U taking on the Oregon Titans Demarini squad, a premier team from the Portland area that took an early lead and held the Avalanche to just 2 runs while putting up 17. The remaining games would be tough affairs as the the Avalanche dropped the next two pool games 18-4 to the Comets and 11-6 to the Lady Kingers.
Sunday would pit the Av’s against the Silver Bullets, leading to a tough 10-2 loss.
But, as the saying goes, the night is darkest before the dawn. As the Avalanche moved into the single elimination consolation bracket, they faced what may be the biggest challenge they have had this season. Squaring off against the Gresham Rebels, the Avalanche would pick up 5 runs in the first inning. #5 Lindsey M would crack the egg with a double that sent #24 Sophia W and #15 Krysta H in for scores. A single by #10 Lauren G would score a run and a long fly ball from #3 Cassidy F would put the 4th and 5th runs across the plate.
By the bottom of the second inning, the Rebels would even the score and by the end of the third, the score would remain 7-7 through 5 innings where the defense from both teams would not allow a run to score. With time expiring, the international tie-breaker rule would come into effect.
With #15 Krysta H placed on 2nd Base, #13 Ava P would prove pivotal by hitting a double to send in the run. The Rebels would come back in the bottom of the 6th to score their runner with one out recorded. They would go out tied 8-8 after #11 KB would throw a strike out and then scoop up a grounder for the put-out at first.
The tension was palpable going in to the 7th inning, neither side willing to go down. As the last out of the 6th inning, #5 Lindsey M was put on 2nd base. Sitting on 1 out, a quick decision and a speedy legs would allow for a successful steal of 3rd base by Lindsey. After a strike out of the second hitter and the third hitter sitting on 2 strikes, a passed ball would be the opening Lindsey needed for a steal home and score at the plate. The Rebels would be held scoreless in the bottom of the 7th for the 9-8 Avalanche victory by a pop-out, a ground out to the pitcher and then a terrific ground out throw by #15 Krysta to 1st.
The 12U faced the Eugene Lightning next in the final, again taking an early lead which they would not relinquish through 6 innings of play. The Lightning fought hard and gained ground, but the game would finish with a 7-5 victory for the Avalanche.
Great job 12U’s for fighting back and making a tough weekend successful! Go Avalanche!