For the City Times
The Plover Fastpitch 14’s took their place as national champs on Aug. 6.
The team won the 2017 ASA Northern Nationals 14U Class B Fastpitch Tournament, held Aug 3-6, in Minnesota, with a record of 10-1.
The tournament saw 29 teams from seven states.
In pool play, the Plover 14’s beat the Vernon Hills Stingers (IL) 7-5, and then defeated the ZM Sting Blue (MN) 10-2, earning them a No. 1 seed in bracket play.
Plover 14’s won their first bracket play game vs. the Marshfield but a score of 12-0 with a key RBI triple from Sami Miller, but then lost to the Black Widows (IL). That loss forced the Plover 14’s into the challenging loser’s bracket — which meant win or go home.
The Plover 14’s played four back-to-back games, outscoring their opponents 44-0.
On their final day of play, three teams remained. The Plover 14’s beat the Black Widows (IL), who they’d lost to the day before making their way to a double elimination play at the final level.
In a dramatic first championship game, the Plover 14’s were down by four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning before battled back with five runs to win. Key RBI hits came in from Haley Raflik, Jenna Hoerter, Hannah Melum, and walk-off game winning RBI single from Jaden Jones.
Erica Pronschinske was the winning pitcher for the Plover 14’s, pitching a strong seven innings, and scattering 10 hits.
In their final game — their eighth in a 24 period — the Plover 14’s battled through six innings, pulling away with a 8-0 victory. Key hitters Ashlyn Chandler, Haley Raflik, Hannah Melum, and Jaden Jones had two hits each, along with the walk off RBI single by Jenna Hoerter to end the game by the 8 run rule.
Pitcher Jaden Jones had six K’s in the shutout victory.
The team pulled away with a season record of 31-7.
Team Batting Ave .388, On Base % .432, Slugging % .538, 100 Runs Scored on 111 hits
Team Pitching: 2.89 ERA, 57 Strikeouts, Opponent Batting Ave .237, 3.56 K/BB Ratio
Jenna Eilers led the team with a .528 Batting Ave, scored 22 Runs, and had 10 Stolen Bases
Video courtesy Todd VanderLoop.