Nothing as sweet as victory for Sorcerer Dean/Kimura, winners of five games Sunday and 14u Power Pool Gold title
by Alissa Noe
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Five games in a single day didn’t seem to wear out Sorcerer Dean/Kimura. If anything, the jam-packed schedule fueled the team out of Martinez, Calif. more in the title game of the 14U National Power Pool Gold bracket at Christopher Fields on Sunday afternoon.
An hour after flattening Epic National in a 9-1 campaign, Sorcerer came out firing on all cylinders against Birmingham Thunderbolts Thompson. They pulled no punches but battered the Bolts in at-bat after at-bat to win an 11-6, sugar-induced victory.
“It was crazy,” right fielder Kymber Dao said. “We were all really tired and we all just had to eat a bunch of candy and energy drinks to really get our energy up and make sure we were ready for this game. Our team is very talented. We always push very hard no matter what, no matter if we're tired or not. No matter if we have candy or not.”
Earlier weather delays constrained the game to just two innings, but that's all Sorcerer needed to secure the Gold.
Sorcerer enjoyed maximum offensive production from Dao, who hit doubles in each of her at-bats, drove in three runs and scored two herself. Shortstop Laila Dean and catcher Bella Granata added their own fireworks with two RBI apiece.
“It really wasn't about their talent, which is off the charts. It was about what's inside of them and their heart and their desire to compete that really set them apart today,” coach John Dean said. “We swing the bat like few other teams, from top to bottom.”
With two outs down and three runners on in the top of the first inning, Laila Dean was the first to put runs on the board with a two-RBI base hit off of the glove of the Thunderbolts' shortstop.
Dao followed her lead, securing her own RBI with a shot to deep center field, before a Thunderbolts error sent two more runners home. Kyla Lujan, soon after, then bombed a ball over the left field wall to put her team up 6-0 after the opening inning of play.
Sorcerer didn't stop there.
On the first pitch of her at-bat in the top of the second, Bella Granata joined in on the fun with her own two-RBI moonshot, which she powered over the center field wall. Dao doubled up on her opening-inning performance with a shot to the same area — this time bouncing off the glove of the center fielder — with another trip to second base and two more RBI to her name.
McKena Harvey rounded out the top of the second with a fielder's choice at third to send another run home and give her team an 11-0 edge. That's when Birmingham's offense woke up, and it certainly made its last gasp of the tournament count.
The Bolts opened the bottom of second frame with three straight hits, and their first RBI belonged to Klara Thompson, whose hard line drive past second base allowed a run to score.
Three batters later, Sorcerer walked Riley Reynolds home to make it 11-2. Corey Goguts kept the party going with the hour, 15-minute deadline fast approaching, as she secured an RBI base hit that followed with another run thanks to an error.
A bit of fielding miscommunication in the final minutes allowed two more runs to score, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early hole that Sorcerer dug. Now, Sorcerer will enter its next tournament with the added confidence of a hard-fought victory.
“It just seemed to be a little bit of confusion about time being on or time being off the clock,” Dean said. “Obviously, they're a really good team, and we didn't want to give them a lot of opportunities to come back. They were putting runs on the board with great effort to get here by them and we felt we needed to make a pitching change in the end to kind of bring in a pitcher (who was) a little bit stronger, a little bit more rested.”