Last weekend marked the end of the 12U season, with the Bulldogs winning a 10 inning thriller, earning a third place overall tie in the 12U division of the WinFIELD of Dreams tournament.
The Bulldogs went out on cloud 9, as they played their best (and most exciting) game of the season beating their newest rival, Kishwaukee Valley Storm 9-3 in 10 innings in their first bracket game.
The first round bracket win, marks the second time the Bulldogs have gotten past the first round in a tournament this season. Unfortunately, in both tournaments, they were beaten by a very accomplished Carol Stream Storm team who ended up winning both the Wheaton Red, White and Blue and the Winfield of Dreams by beating the Bulldogs to get to the championship game.
The Bulldogs started the tournament in an overcast slumber on Friday with a 10-10 tie against the Lake in the Hills Hurricanes; a game they should have won. Saturday started equally as grey with a close 4-2 loss to the Kishwaukee Valley Storm in pool play. The day and the play brightened later with the Bulldogs dispatching the Sycamore Sycos 9-3 to take their usual 1-1-1 record into the bracket.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny as the Bulldogs were the number 5 seed, playing the Kishwaukee Valley Storm, the number 4 seed, in the first round of bracket play. The game was a tight, grinding pitchers duel with neither team willing to give up a run through 3 full innings. The Storm broke through with 2 runs in the bottom of the fourth, planting a seed of doubt in the Bulldog faithful. But the Bulldogs kept believing in themselves and each other and got the two runs back in the top of the 5th. Kishwaukee answered with 1 in the bottom of the frame and the Bulldogs provided a last minute answer with a run in the top of the 7th to tie the game and send it to an international tie breaker.
In an international tie breaker each team starts the inning with a runner on second and no outs to accelerate play. Both teams played tight defense in the 8th and 9th innings giving up 0 runs in each inning, until finally the Bulldogs broke the game wide open when Elly "Squirrel" Reynolds went yard on a 2 run blast over the left fielders head making the score 5-3. After Molly "Beebs" Giesen reached on a error, Haydin "Icepack" Hampton hit her own 2 run dinger to straight away center to put the Bulldogs up 7-3. Gwen "Lightning" Shouse put the exclamation point on the rally with a line drive single up the middle that scored two more. The Bulldogs put down the Storm 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10 to seal the victory.
Avery "Showtime" Lundblad dominated in the circle all weekend and especially against Kishwaukee Valley going all 10 innings in the bracket play marathon. Lunblad pitched in three of the 5 games winning 1, losing 1 and earning a save in another. She had a tiny ERA of 2.8 for the weekend and an ERA of 2.1 against the Storm in the 10 inning game. She struck out 13 on the weekend with 8 walks, with 9 strike outs in the bracket game.
The three stars for the WinFIELD of Dreams tournament were:
#1 Star - Haydin "Icepack" Hampton - Who hit for the cycle in the tournament with a single, double, triple, and home run, .444 Batting Average, 4 RBI's, 4 Runs Scored, .615 On Base Percentage, 3 Stolen Bases, a 1000% Percentage and 2 Double Plays.
#2 Star - Molly "Beebs" Giesen - .417 Batting Average, 6 RBI's, 4 Runs Scored, .462 On Base Percentage, 4 Stolen Bases and an .800 Fielding Percentage.
#3 Star - Meghan "Doc" Suess - .417 Batting Average, 3 RBI's, .417 On Base Percentage, 2 Stolen Bases, 12 Putouts, 3 Assists, 1000% Fielding Percentage and 9.2 Innings Pitched with a win.
#4 Star - Avery "Showtime" Lundblad - Who made us add another star based on her sheer domination in the pitching circle and very strong defense with 6 Putouts, 5 Assists and a 1000% Fielding Percentage.