JENSEN BEACH, FLA. >> The Berkshire Force 14U team had to play two games on Monday, and after a thrilling walk-off win over thee TCAA Wildcats to open the day, the 14Us fell to USA Glory 12-2 in the winner's bracket final on Monday night.
With the loss, the Force now have a daunting task ahead of them to take home a Babe Ruth World Series title — they have to win three games today.
The Force will play the winner of Sorrento and JPRD West at noon today. The winner advances to play USA Glory in the championship, and will need to win twice to secure a World Series title.
The Force beat USA Glory in pool play 3-2. Coach Jim Clary said that all of the things that worked in favor of the Force in the first game went to USA Glory in the second game.
'[USA Glory], for some reason, their defense was solid," Clary said. "They were hitting seeing-eye singles between the infielders. Doubles between the outfielders. No matter where we played, they hit them in the opposite direction where in the first game they hit right at us."
In the loss to USA Glory, the Force rallied from a two-run deficit in the second to tie the game, but USA Glory put up three runs in the fourth and fifth innings to snatch control of the contest, and four more runs in the top of the seventh sealed the deal.
Mary Lee started and tossed four innings, giving up nine hits and five runs — two earned — on one strike out. Addyson Lyon tossed the final three innings and gave up 11 hits on seven earned runs to three strike outs.
At the plate, both Force runs scored on a two-run single by Brianna Clary.
Outside of that, though, the Force couldn't get much offense going. In the third, fourth and fifth innings, USA Glory pitcher Chloe James faced the minimum nine batters, and in the seventh the Force got two runners on with no outs, but two consecutive outs handed USA Glory the win. James struck out three on two walks and six hits.
Tess Lyon went 2 for 3 at the plate with a run scored for the Force.
In the morning 3-2 win over TCAA Wildcats, the Force walked off in a bizarre set of circumstances. Down 2-1 entering the inning, Jordyn Lummus scored the tying run when Sarah McMahon reached on an error, allowing Lummus to come all the way around from first. With McMahon on second, Brooke Cowlin sacrificed her to third.
Lee was then subbed out for Payton O'Connell at the plate with one out. O'Connell laid down a suicide squeeze that didn't work as McMahon was tagged out at home, but then O'Connell tested the defense by taking a vacant second base, and the throw from the catcher to the center fielder trying to cover the bag sailed and allowed O'Connell to come around and score to end the game.
"Payton was smart enough to go to second," Clary said. "the center fielder came in, the pitcher threw it over her head and no one was there to back her up."
Clary said the game was high on the list of highlights for the week.
"We had all the parents there. Half of the 16s parents, big crowd watching it. Totally intense. Probably one of the most exciting moments of the whole week was her scoring."
Lee pitched all seven innings in the win, striking out five on three walks and nine hits. At the plate, Lyon went 2 for 3.
With the prospect of three games today, Clary said the approach of the team was simple — one step at a time.
"We used to [try and plan] in the past," Clary said. "We have to win one before we get to the next one.
"We'll go with Mary Lee [as pitcher] at noontime, if she's successful she'll go again at 6 p.m. She'll tell us, she's not afraid to tell us if she can't go anymore, and we have a good backup in Addyson Lyon."
16U hit with rain delay
The 16U team faced off against Jensen Beach on Monday night in the winner's bracket final, but the game will have to be finished today after rainstorms moved through Florida late Monday night.
With the game starting late due to the volume of games being played at the Pineapple Park complex, the Force got through 2 1/2 before the rain rolled in, and led 3-1.
The Force scored all three runs in the top of the third. The first run came when Elene Cerveira drew a walk with the bases loaded, allowing Natasha Shade to touch home from third. The second came when Ashley Keegan hit into a fielder's choice, allowing Britney Perkett to round home plate, then Toni Satrape hit a single to left that plated Cerveira.
Jensen Beach got one back in the bottom of the inning and had runners on first and second with two outs when the weather delay hit.
The game will resume today at 8 a.m.